cover image The Pumpkin Man and the Crafty Creeper

The Pumpkin Man and the Crafty Creeper

Margaret Mahy. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10347-7

Mahy ( The Seven Chinese Brothers ; The Great White Man-Eating Shark ) writes with considerable verve about a most unusual houseguest. A blue-flowered plant begs mild-mannered Mr. Parkin to take her home and tend to her--``I will be your humble little potted plant, though I am actually a rare and valuable species.'' When the plant becomes increasingly demanding (``I must have entertainment. I need the finer things of life.'') it becomes apparent that poor Mr. Parkin is out of his depth. Luckily for him help appears from an unexpected source, and Mr. P. can return to the quiet obedience of his pumpkins. Mahy's droll, inventive tale possesses her trademark exuberance, and Craig's ( Angelina Ballerina ) illustrations perfectly capture the sense of fun. Though her palette is not vibrant, the humorous expressions on both people and plants are thoroughly engaging. A botanical beauty. Ages 5-8. (May)