cover image McGraw's Emporium

McGraw's Emporium

Jim Aylesworth. Henry Holt & Company, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-3192-8

Whether kids or adults will be the most entertained by this nimble collaboration is anyone's guess--there is plenty here to amuse everybody. Aylesworth's (Old Black Fly) zippy rhyme describes a boy's visit to McGraw's antique shop in search of a gift for an ill friend. He finds a dizzying array of goods, e.g.: ""A Franklin stove, a cowboy hat,/ A parrot cage, a cricket bat,/ A little knife for spreading jam,/ A sweater with a monogram,/ A mandolin, nine picture frames,/ A board for playing checker games,/ A bowling ball, a kitchen sink,/ A statue of King Tut, I think."" Making this emporium a visual treat is Smith's innovative collage art. She juxtaposes watercolors and colored-pencil drawings with photos of hundreds of items (a jacket flap reports that she used 432 magazines and three pairs of scissors). The melange is neatly arranged for convenient browsing. Youngsters will have fun identifying the objects mentioned in the verse, while baby-boomers will chuckle over such cultural artifacts as the album cover from Saturday Night Fever, a Pet Rock, a photo of the original Star Trek cast, a lava lamp and--of course--two pink flamingo lawn ornaments. Delightful. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)