cover image Life Is Fun!

Life Is Fun!

Nancy Carlson. Viking Children's Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-84206-3

Devotees of Carlson's upbeat, ``feel-good'' books ( I Like Me! ) may be somewhat disappointed by her latest effort, an even littler version of Life's Little Instruction Book . In place of a story, Carlson delivers a set of precepts--which at best are banal but more often seem superficial, strained or preachy. Most edicts borrow from the Golden Rule, as in ``Be nice to others.'' Others, however, depart from tried-and-true maxims to branch out in a diffused way, e.g., ``Order yourself a triple-scoop ice cream cone'' and ``Don't worry about stuff,'' both included under the general heading of ``Be nice to yourself.'' Carlson makes no attempt to address readers whose own experience of life has encompassed loss or any of the myriad other everyday happenings that defy description as ``fun.'' If she proposes concentrating on the important things in life and letting the small stuff slide, the message is inadequately conveyed. 1. Close this book.2. Open another. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)