cover image DANCING GRANNY


Elizabeth Winthrop, Maurice Burton, , illus. by Salvatore Murdocca. . Cavendish, $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7614-5141-9

When the red-haired girl in this quirky rhymed narrative asks her grandmother to accompany her to the zoo at night, Granny says she'd rather not: "My nightie's on, my teeth are out./ I think I'll stay in bed." In a fun role-reversal, it's the youngster who cajoles the adult into going to the party. Like an indulgent parent, the red-haired girl calls Granny a "goose" as she kisses the woman's nose and toes, and helps her put on her favorite purple tennis shoes. Murdocca (the Magic Tree House series) doesn't miss a chance to add humorous action and silly details to pore over on repeat readings. Granny's many cats watch her bemusedly as her granddaughter combs her hair into a neat bun, and the zoo's outlandish party animals are outfitted like children playing outré dress-up. The tiger wears a fruity Carmen Miranda hat, while snakes in party hats coil round her, and Granny's favorite escort is a courtly ursine Uncle Sam. Murdocca transforms the stage business of Granny's false teeth and her whining into endearing eccentricities. When it's time to go home, the frazzled Granny kisses her patriotic partner on the snout and dreams of waltzing with the dapper bear in a Ginger Rogers ball gown. Author and artist inject some kick into a familiar theme with this whimsical Dancing Granny and her granddaughter sidekick. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)