cover image Magic Room Rlb

Magic Room Rlb

Scott Spencer. Harmony, $10.95 (26pp) ISBN 978-0-517-56451-6

Phoebe's parents are busy, serious sorts; they have little time for her, especially when they work in their secret laboratory at night. An accident there shrinks them to doll-size figures, a condition that Phoebe realizes can be reversed only with laughter. This therapy is effective, and it brings the family together as well. Spencer, author of Endless Love and other books for adults, has not succeeded in writing from a child's point of view. His text abounds with intrusive, direct addresses to the reader (""Do you know what I mean by a miracle?'' he asks at one point); these create a distance and are likely to strike children as condescending. And he fantasy is contrived and unconvincing. Dupuy's paintings, though realistic and technically accomplished, are uninspiring. Ages 4-7. (October)