cover image Doris


Ivor Cutler. Tambourine Books, $14 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-11939-3

In this eventful tale extolling the virtues of ``art for art's sake,'' a buxom white hen named Doris warbles bewitching songs as she cleans offices for a living. ``There was a wee mouse that lived in a pancake . . . ,'' she begins, or trills, ``Some white, woolly sheep are chewing my carrots to bits.'' As people gather outside to hear, Doris's boss Oliver, a parrot with keen business savvy, dreams of the potential income from this ``lovely voice, sweet as a bird.'' After many fits and starts Doris and Oliver join forces and are so successful that soon they have more money than they could ever spend. Though Oliver is eager to pursue wealth, he realizes money isn't everything when he ``looked in Doris's eyes for a whole minute.'' Cutler's tale, though somewhat convoluted, is sportively told, and Munoz's amiable characters are brimming with individuality--Doris, in fact, calls to mind a citified version of Janet Stoeke's beguiling Minerva Louise . Rusty reds and aquas tinged with green give the comical watercolors a refreshing '50s look that is particularly chipper and complementary. Ages 5-up. (Oct.)