cover image Jim Hedgehog Lonesome Twr

Jim Hedgehog Lonesome Twr

Russell Hoban. Clarion Books, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-395-59760-6

Jim Hedgehog, an avid heavy-metal fan, buys an audiocassette from Mr. Strange, a stoat wearing sunglasses and a polka-dotted tie. Entitled Lonesome Tower , the tape plays a song that ``sounded like a hundred tomcats and a thousand bees in the middle of a hurricane.'' Mr. Strange also sells Jim a recorder and an instructional book. After Jim's mother gives him a lively lesson on reading music, he masters the one song in the book. This tune eventually leads Jim to the Lonesome Tower, where he helps a shackled, wild-haired woman recover her lost song. With its occasionally advanced wordplay, Hoban's offbeat tale will be beyond most readers in the intended age group. They will more readily appreciate Lewin's witty pictures, which depict the contrast between young Jim's innocence and the zaniness of the realm of the Lonesome Tower. Ages 6-9. (Mar.)