cover image Because of Lozo Brown

Because of Lozo Brown

Larry L. King. Viking Children's Books, $11.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-670-81031-4

Lozo Brown has just moved next dooran event that causes King's timid young narrator no end of anxiety. He envisions his new neighbor as not only a giant but a bully, and, hiding in his room, imagines himself meeting dire fates at Lozo's hands. When the dreaded Lozo is encountered, he provesnot surprisinglyto be a harmless, even fun-loving fellow, and the two boys begin what promises to be a rewarding friendship. Children will undoubtedly identify with the fears and anxieties that form the basis of this book, and will appreciate the humor in the narrator's imagination-run-wild. Schwartz does a terrific job of bringing these fears to life. She depicts the imaginary Lozo as an oversize, grotesque figurea portrayal that contrasts humorously with the clean-cut innocence the real-life Lozo displays. The book is badly flawed, however, by a rhyming text that is flat-footed, awkwardly metered and often painfully forced. Ages 3-8. (October)