cover image Araboolies of Liberty St

Araboolies of Liberty St

Sam Swope. Clarkson N Potter Publishers, $15 (30pp) ISBN 978-0-517-56960-3

On Liberty Street, where all the houses look alike, General Pinch and his skinny wife are in charge. Whenever it appears that anyone is having fun, the general threatens to call in the army; in this way, he keeps the neighborhood quiet and dull. Enter the Araboolies, undefinable creatures of lively, fun-loving temperament and psychedelic color combinations. The Araboolies are ``not the neatest people in the world, truth to tell,'' for they put furniture in the yard and even watch TV outside. When General Pinch makes good on his threats and calls in the army to vanquish the group, a girl named Joy resists. Her efforts pay off; the Pinches are carted off instead of the Araboolies. The many-sided satire on fascism is wordy and repetitive, and the only focus on a child character--Joy--occurs two-thirds of the way through. But the messages of freedom, individualism and tolerance are strong. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)