cover image Yard Sale!

Yard Sale!

Mitra Modarressi. DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley), $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7894-2651-2

Flea market shoppers get more than they bargain for in this tall tale, a latter-day ""Aladdin and the Lamp."" One morning, residents of Spudville pore over the pickings at Mr. Flotsam's yard sale: a rug, a typewriter, a phone, a pasta-maker. The objects seem ordinary, but when the shoppers get home, inexplicable things happen. The rug flies off, with a boy aboard. The typewriter produces a novel. And when Mrs. Applebee's new telephone rings, ""It was her great-great-great-grandmother, just calling to say hello!"" The townspeople, initially outraged and demanding refunds, grow to appreciate their magical possessions. As in her The Dream Pillow, Modarressi sets uncanny events in a tree-dotted small-town America. With understated, offhand wit, she demonstrates the secondhand-store credo that one man's trash is another man's treasure. The pasta-maker churns out a ""waist deep"" pile of spaghetti, but they are the tastiest noodles anyone has ever eaten; the telephone scares Mrs. Applebee, but now Mr. Rotelli ""can finally get [his] great-great-great-aunt Sylvia's recipe for carrot cake."" The art, in an antiqued palette of mossy green, mauve and butter yellow, features Modarressi's characteristically skewed, eerie but cheery watercolor images. Fun from start to finish. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)