cover image Russell and Elisa

Russell and Elisa

Johanna Hurwitz. Morrow Junior Books, $11.95 (87pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08792-0

Russell's little sister Elisa is growing up fast. She is almost four, and although most of the time Russell thinks she is a pest, sometimes he enjoys her company. This book, the latest in Hurwitz's popular series about Russell and his family and friends, captures succinctly the ebb and flow of sibling relations. The alternating embarrassment and affection Russell feels for his sister is right on target. And Hurwitz zeros in on the kind of ordinary activities important to a child: a trip to the barbershop, the excitement of a first sleep-over and an afternoon at the ballgame. The tale also boasts a doll with what may be the most endearing name--Airmail--since Ramona Quimby's beloved Chevrolet. Hurwitz is a master of middle-grade fiction: as always, her prose is snappy and believable, and her gentle stories of family life have the ring of authenticity. Pictures not seen by PW. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)