cover image A Memory for Tino

A Memory for Tino

Leo F. Buscaglia. Slack, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-07482-1

Buscaglia stresses the importance of keeping memories alive in his new book, which is based on a true story. But it seems derived from the overused plot about the misunderstood ``witch,'' who is finally perceived as a nice lady; in this book, her name is Mrs. Sunday. To Tino, eight, and his pals, the old lady is a ``vampire,'' living by herself in a rickety house and hoping to snare little children. But Tino and Mrs. Sunday become friends, sharing experiences along with milk and cookies after school. The narrative's conflict arises when the boy gives Mrs. Sunday his family's TV set ``to make her unlonely.'' When his parents learn of Tino's generosity, they're not at all pleased, but Buscaglia resolves the problem handily. Unlike stories that entertain and educate, this story is virtually all message, not enlivened by Newsom's color pictures. Although she is adept at portraying objects, her people appear lifeless and blank-faced. But, despite these problems, the bookgiven the author's popularitywill meet with almost certain success. All ages. (April)