cover image WHOA, JEALOUSY!


Woodleigh Marx Hubbard, . . Putnam, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-23435-4

Hubbard (Once I Was...) casts negative attitudes as nattering animals in this superficial self-help guide. Jealousy, with a pinched, jet-black face and sharp orange beak, pecks at the door as a "No-Good Dirty Nasty Mean Feather-Faced Chicken." If someone foolishly invites Jealousy in, the author warns, a "Sharp-Tongued Snake" called Envy, a "Rude Rat" known as Greed and an "Angry Red Hornet" of Rivalry will visit, too. In Hubbard's characteristically asymmetrical, naïve compositions, the four "bullies" taunt solitary girls and boys. Even after they are banished by the children's rousing cheer ("Pluck that Chicken!/ Knot that Snake!/ Trap that Rat in a very small space!/ And swat that Hornet/ right out of this place!"), the ugly temptations threaten to return. The book introduces but does not define its seven-deadly-sins terminology: Rivalry "backbites and lies"; Jealousy, for unspecified reasons, "at first seems kind of sweet." Offering no insight as to why someone would "open the door" to Jealousy in the first place nor any clear sense of how to counter the pesky vices, these handsome-looking pages are unlikely to leave much of an impression. Ages 5-up. (June)