cover image The Fantastic Flying Journey

The Fantastic Flying Journey

Gerald Malcolm Durrell. Simon & Schuster, $17.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-64982-1

If Around the World in 80 Days were fused with Dr. Dolittle's ability to talk to the animals, the results might be this book. Great-Uncle Lancelot lands his balloon ship in the Dollybutt children's yard and offers to take them along with him while he searches the world over for his brother Perceval. Emma and her twin brothers, Conrad and Ivan, gladly join the search; Lancelot sprinkles powder on them so that they can communicate with animals and therefore learn something from the journey. Despite Percy's colorful illustrations, the book presents a rather unsuccessful blend of fact and fantasy, and some youngsters may have trouble distinguishing one from the other. And the precious tone of the text may lose all but the most determined readers. Ages 7-10. (June)