cover image TV Monster Rlb

TV Monster Rlb

Crown, Rosalind Barden. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-517-56934-4

The narrator of Barden's first picture book is a former TV addict chastened by the near-disaster his constant viewing has occasioned. He relates how he became enamored of the set to the exclusion of all else, finally turning into a ``TV monster.'' Aliensmistaking him for one of their ownsweep him, his dog and his TV away to outer space. Pried from the set for a moment, he reverts to his boyish form, and he and his dog make a timely escape. Barden shows promise as an illustrator: her loosely limned renderings complement the story's tongue- in-cheek humor and provide many funny details of their own. However, the plot is slight and obvious, and lacks the focus that would make this fully satisfying. The design scheme, which often encloses two or more scenes within a single border, provides unnecessary visual confusion. For a cautionary tale about the perils of too much TV, David McPhail's Emma has more substance, staying power and warmth. Ages 3-6. (Jan.)