cover image Camper of the Week: Story and Pictures

Camper of the Week: Story and Pictures

Amy Schwartz. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05942-5

When Rosie's friends at camp organize a prank, she at first declines to participate: after all, she has just received an award for her unfailingly good behavior. She has a last-minute change of heart, though, and, unbeknownst to her friends, she does help out. When they are caught and she is not, she is troubled and lonely, until she voluntarily shares in their punishment--and in the process has a marvelous time. Schwartz ( Annabelle Swift, Kindergartner ) once again shows her ability to evoke children's half-submerged fears, and readers will emphathize with Rosie's crise de conscience. But the ultimate point of Rosie's story is murky: for example, it is difficult to say whether her happiness at the end springs from a clear conscience or from a kind of pride that she, too, can be a bit of a troublemaker and as such is more fully accepted by her friends. And, while the illustrations are friendly and warm, most are uncharacteristically restrained and spare in detail. Ages 5-7. (Aug.)