cover image Hooray for Mother's Day!

Hooray for Mother's Day!

Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, John Wallner. Holiday House, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0588-6

Alaric Chicken is one neurotic birda real worrier. He goes to a department store to buy a Mother's Day present for his Mom, but nothing is right. The bedroom slippers Mr. Horse shows him might make his mother slip and fall, the chocolates suggested by Mr. Ostrich would rot her teeth, and the perfume Mr. Peacock is selling would knock her out with its fumes. Alaric eventually finds the right gift, but it's something to encourage her neuroses. The book is terrific, but its denouement is a letdown. Sharmat's pace, tone and humor are so right that we wait for a socko ending that isn't there. Wallner's psychedelic colors and hilarious anthropomorphic animals hit the mark, including a horse in lipstick, earrings and a '40s hairdo. (48)