cover image Percy and the Five Houses

Percy and the Five Houses

Else Holmelund Minarik. Greenwillow Books, $11.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08104-1

When Percy the beaver finds some gold, Ferd the fox soon convinces him to join the House of the Month Club. Each month for five months, Percy will receive a new house. The first month, a cardboard Victorian house arrives to the delight of Percy and Grandpa. Disappointment follows when the house is blown into the trees. The next selection is a cardboard castle which is destroyed by heavy rain. A crepe-paper tepee flies to shreds in the wind. When a tiny camper arrives, Percy must let some mice move into it. After the igloo for December arrives, he realizes that his own beaver dam is the best home for him, and Ferd--with the igloo--heads for the North Pole. Minarik charmingly revamps the ``no-place-like-home'' chestnut, since Percy never really leaves his home in order to find it. Stevenson's zany cartoons give Percy's world an animated glee: Percy wears jogging shorts, lizards don striped shirts and a pelican sports a baseball cap. The shredded houses are colorful in their ruined glory; the castles in the air are succinctly replaced by the down-to-earth beaver dam. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)