cover image Show and Tell

Show and Tell

Barney Saltzberg. Hyperion Books, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0020-9

In this mischievous picture book, Saltzberg ( Mrs. Morgan's Lawn ) reminds parents that not every child requires a helping hand even as he encourages young readers to trust their own imaginations. On show-and-tell day, when the narrator wants only to share a star-shaped leaf, her mother and father send her to school with an entire palm tree. Later, the girl finds a ``chicken bone that looked like it came from a baby dinosaur''; her parents rent a genuine T. rex skeleton instead. For the third show-and-tell, the parents provide a herd of cows, but the narrator introduces her class to the craftsy possibilities of the popsicle stick--and receives an enthusiastic response. Saltzberg wisely concludes the story with a compromise of sorts: the girl blends her parents' extravagance with her own creativity by calling a convoy of popsicle trucks to her home (she declares, ``I learned from the best!''). Mixed-media cartoons communicate the range of the narrator's emotions; the slightly cluttered look of the artwork suggests the random decor of an elementary-school classroom. A lesson in self-expression for parents and children alike. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)