cover image The Story of Imelda, Who Was Small

The Story of Imelda, Who Was Small

Morris Lurie. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $13.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-395-48663-4

Imelda is so very small that she sleeps in a shoebox. Her parents take her to the doctor, who prescribes ``long foods'' (spaghetti, runner beans, licorice sticks) and advises the avoidance of ``short, dumpy foods.'' This doesn't work; Imelda remains tiny. But a chance encounter with an old lady brings the solution: the shoebox is keeping Imelda short; if she gets a proper bed, she'll have plenty of room to grow. Despite the funny full-color illustrations, this contrived story is lackluster. Florence Parry Heide's hilarious The Shrinking of Treehorn satirizes adult attitudes in a similar situation, but Imelda's problem and the unconvincing resolution lack both the humor and the substance of that title. Ages 7-9. (Oct.)