cover image Bobbin Dustdobbin

Bobbin Dustdobbin

Susan Patron. Orchard Books (NY), $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05468-0

Patron's ( Five Bad Boys, Billy Que, and the Dustdobbin ) unusual cast of characters returns for another adventure in this quirky picture book. This time PapaHob, the creature who lives in the dust under Billy Que's bed, introduces Bobbin, his talented but shy daughter. Bobbin's fear of the broom on Billy Que's porch keeps her from wandering too far from the safe haven of the bedroom. But it's Billy Que's birthday and the five bad boys from the neighborhood show up looking for cake and ice cream. In return for their treats, the bad boys offer to do Billy Que's chores--including sweeping, forcing Bobbin to take drastic measures. Patron's ambitious text has plenty of verve, but her story loses momentum due to several digressions. However, she skillfully incorporates such traditional folktale elements as enchanted, elusive figures and such devices as repetition, which help sustain readers' attention through any rough spots. Shenon's ink and watercolor paintings exude a jovial warmth through earthy and appropriately dusty hues. His smiling Dustdobbins may prompt readers to wonder if there really is life in the hidden corners of an unkempt room. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)