cover image Emily and the Magic Hollyhocks

Emily and the Magic Hollyhocks

Elvira Woodruff. Scholastic, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-590-41233-9

As Mrs. McClosky watches her three rambunctious boys swinging from trees or climbing around the house, she sometimes has to admit to herself that they resemble monkeys. When the boys grow fur and sprout tails, it comes as no surprise--and everyone who knows them believes that these three terrors might be more at home in the zoo. They cause quite a sensation in their new environment. At first the boys enjoy providing a spectacle for the noisy crowds, but before long the novelty wears thin and they begin to pine for home. Mrs. McClosky is happy to have her boys back--even though they may not be completely cured of their apelike tendencies. This lively tale, while not particularly distinctive, displays a keen sense of imagination in which the transformation from boy to monkey is eerily convincing. Although they are somewhat static, Kastner's ( Night Owls ; Sarah's Surprise ) rich chalk drawings possess a pleasingly homey quality. Ages 3-6. (May)