cover image The Storekeeper

The Storekeeper

Tracey Campbell Pearson. Dial Books, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0370-4

It is not even dawn, but the amiable storekeepera plump, elderly woman wearing a bright-red sweater over her blue-checked dressis up to receive a supply of doughnuts from a delivery man and to prepare for the busy day ahead in her store. The road crew stops in, as do sleepy children on the way to school. Toddlers with a grandfather spend most of the day taking apart displays; one man seems especially interested in those doughnuts; the storekeeper's cats follow a storyline all their own until they, with their mistress, say good night. While imparting some information about a storekeeper's tasks (seeing salespeople, stocking shelves), the book captures the essentially social aspects of the general store environment. This has all the appeal of Pearson's other exuberant works, but, in contrast to the breakneck rhythms of those books, the storekeeper's day unwinds slowly; the story's pace is welcoming and leisurely. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)