cover image Loop the Loop

Loop the Loop

Barbara Brewer Dugan. Greenwillow Books, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-09647-2

This book is probably the best intergenerational story since The Canada Geese Quilt (Cobblehill, 1989). Written with simplicity, utter lack of sentimentality and great good humor, it tells how young Anne befriends a senior citizen in the park--who, it turns out, does terrific yo-yo tricks and says of herself, ``I'm magnificent and I know it!'' Upbeat Mrs. Simpson invites Anne and her mother to tea and tells the girl she may jump on the chairs if she likes--``no one uses them anyway.'' When Mrs. Simpson later falls in an accident and must move to a nursing home, Anne maintains their friendship, smuggling in a cat for her friend to hug. Dugan's debut book tells a marvelously funny and affectionate story without a single false note. Stevenson's illustrations, as usual, are lively, apt and appealing; his drawings have just the right bite for the saucy Mrs. Simpson. Though somewhat long for the traditional picture-book format, this will make an excellent read-aloud. Alternately uproarious and touching--Mrs. Simpson's bursts of song are particularly hilarious--the story presents a subtle message that may spark discussions on aging; or, children can simply enjoy this book for the sheer fun of it. Ages 5-up. (Apr.)