cover image Picnic at Mudsock Meadow

Picnic at Mudsock Meadow

Patricia Polacco. Putnam Publishing Group, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21811-8

A cast of clamorous children and colorful adults vivifies Polacco's latest childhood memory. Know-it-all Hester is always the first to point out shy William's shortcomings. At the annual Halloween picnic, however, William--having suffered humiliation throughout pumpkin carving, pumpkin seed spitting and tug-o'-war--decides to get even. He jumps into the eerie, glowing swamp nearby and emerges with a scary look that wins the costume contest hands down--and Hester's admiration, too. Polacco's text has the easy-going rhythm of a seasoned storyteller. Memorable nomenclature makes the proceedings distinctive, while many homey details exude feelings of small-town coziness and simplicity. Humorous scenes, such as a crew of girls from the Wah Tan Yee Girls Auxillary, Wigwam