cover image Lazy Jack

Lazy Jack

Tony Ross. Dial Books, $11.95 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0275-2

In this story, talented author-illustrator Ross offers a variation on a classic folk tale. Jack is ""probably the laziest person in the whole world.'' His mother, finally fed up with him, sends him to work but he loses his day's wages (a gold coin) on the way home. Mother instructs Jack to put his wages in his pocket next time. So he does, even though this time his wages are a pitcher of milk. A series of misadventures ensues until Jack has the good fortune to cheer up a sad princess, whose grateful father lets her marry Jack. Through it all, Jack remains fetchingly bewildered and naive. Ross's paintings are beguiling and his text reflects a charmingly childlike sense of humor. This is a quieter tale than Ross's rollicking I'm Coming To Get You, but it's guaranteed to raise a smile. (48)