cover image Bingo Brown, Gypsy Lover

Bingo Brown, Gypsy Lover

Betsy Cromer Byars. Viking Children's Books, $12.95 (122pp) ISBN 978-0-670-83322-1

The irrepressible Bingo Brown is back, in his most delightful tale yet. It's Christmastime at the Brown house, and what a holiday this is shaping up to be. Bingo's mother is pregnant, and as if the prospect of a sibling isn't enough--at 12, Bingo feels ``like a very, very young grandfather''--the hapless hero also has female trouble. It seems that Bingo is simultaneously carrying on a complicated long-distance romance with Melissa (an object of Bingo's affections in The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown ), and fending off the unwelcome attentions of someone nearer at hand, a girl by the name of Boots (``certainly it could not be pleasant to be named for footwear''). As Bingo careens from one Wodehousian scrape to another in this impeccably paced novel, readers will find themselves laughing out loud. Byars is pure gold. Ages 8-12. (May)