cover image E Is for Elisa

E Is for Elisa

Johanna Hurwitz. HarperCollins, $12.95 (85pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10439-9

Hurwitz, creator of the Michaels family--stars of Rip-Roaring Russell and Russell Sprouts --presents the irrepressible clan from a new perspective, that of four-year-old Elisa. Six linked episodes--in which big brother Russell is an important supporting character--show Elisa struggling to keep pace with Russell and her peers. Readers should enjoy seeing more of the energetic youngster, whose inner life is an active reflection of the worries, joys and imaginative play of children. But the book's format seems to work against its subject. Four- and five-year-olds, who are most apt to relate to Elisa, may be intimated by a full-length chapter book, while older readers may feel themselves beyond such experiences as wishing for a first loose tooth and learning not to cry when being photographed. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)