cover image Hazel's Amazing Mother

Hazel's Amazing Mother

Rosemary Wells. Dial Books, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0209-7

Building fantasy on the solid foundation of a mother's championship, Wells acquaints her readers with more of the endearing anthropomorphs that have made her picture books lasting favorites. Hazel is a small raccoon. Taking her doll Eleanor in a stroller, she buys picnic snacks to share with Mom and Eleanor at lunchtime. The shopper is among familiar, friendly people until she loses her way on a hill where three young toughs surround her. (The meanest is Doris, a chipmunk!) They tear poor Eleanor apart and throw her stroller into a pond. Although Hazel is far from home, she cries, ""Mother, I need you,'' and mother is there. Carried by magic to the top of a tree, the mother thunders orders at the ruffians and they obey instantlysewing the doll together again, cleaning the carriageand then get while the getting's good. Full-color pictures with delightful embellishments stamp the book unmistakably a Wells creation. (37)