cover image The Cut-Ups Carry on

The Cut-Ups Carry on

James Marshall. Viking Children's Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-81645-3

The Cut-Ups are back to prove the impossible: that they have become even cooler and crazier than in books past. Chagrined when their mothers enroll them in ballroom dancing classes, Spud and Joe's fear of being spotted by the other boys is dispelled when they find that they have been forced into the same class. When the boys learn of an upcoming talent contest (the prize is a lunar walker just like Captain Kideo's on TV), they vie to be partnered with Mary Frances Hooley, the undeniable queen of ballroom dancing--despite her resemblance to a Sumo wrestler. Things look grim when Mary Frances chooses another partner and ``the boys lay around like sick cats.'' In a surprise ending characteristic of this droll duo, Spud and Joe triumph once again. Unmitigated lunacy runs rampant in this madcap tale, peopled with the familiar boxy kids and fleabag cats that Marshall's fans have come to know and love. Ages 3-8. (May)