cover image Oh Grow Up!

Oh Grow Up!

Florence Parry Heide. Orchard, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-531-09471-6

Dealing with annoying circumstances can try the patience of even a saintly child, but this droll collection from Heide (Tales for the Perfect Child) and her daughter is bound to fortify young readers suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous childhood. ""I only have one life to live,"" laments the narrator of a poem titled ""Advice,"" but ""my parents want to live it."" Another says, ""I used to hate sharing./ Now it seems good./ I share my chores--/ I think everyone should."" Westcott's (Never Take a Pig to Lunch and Other Poems About the Fun of Eating) waggish, detailed watercolors provide more than half the book's amusement. As fit punishment for a sister who hogs the bathroom plucking her eyebrows, Westcott depicts the younger brother camping out in the bathtub in full snorkeling regalia. Although the poems' rhythms and rhymes are sometimes uneven, both text and art focus on children of good humor and high energy who cleverly cope with familiar ordeals. Whether these narrators are being grounded or outnumbered, their complaints are earnest rather than churlish, heartfelt rather than whiny, and always full of fun. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)