cover image It's Not My Turn to Look for Grandma

It's Not My Turn to Look for Grandma

April Halprin Wayland. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $15 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-679-84491-4

From its hillbilly characters to its goony title-page rendering of the Knopf borzoi to its droll locutions (``Where in the hickory stick is Grandma?''), this volume establishes a rollicking hootenanny feel. Grandma, a salty old woman in the Beverly Hillbillies mold, is ``too busy'' entertaining her pets and herself to help Ma fix the house and garden. One by one, Ma sends her four kids to find her errant kinswoman and, one by one, Grandma sends them back-armed with the ability to tell tall tales, paint or dance to amuse Ma and their siblings. Finally, Ma tunes up her fiddle and tempts Grandma and her banjo out of hiding for a rendition of ``The Chickadilla Song'' (a down-on-the-farm ditty based on an 1871 tune). The family-along with fleabitten dogs, hyperactive ducks and chickens, and two prickly porcupines-carouses in the yard as the sun sets, all anti-Grandma sentiment forgotten. Booth (Possum Come a-Knockin') applies cutout ink-and-watercolor cartoons to a watercolor background; fans of the New Yorker artist will instantly recognize a certain pointy-eared, barrel-chested dog. Ages 4-8. (June)