cover image Mrs. Morgan's Lawn

Mrs. Morgan's Lawn

Barney Saltzberg. Hyperion Books, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56282-423-5

Snazzy pictures in delectable springtime hues fortify an easily anticipated story line. Mrs. Morgan is the neighborhood crank: ``Every time a ball lands on her lawn, she keeps it,'' says the narrator. ``What does she do with them all?'' he asks as an illustration pictures Mrs. Morgan decked out in a pointy witch's hat, stirring a caldron of lost toys by the light of a crescent moon. Before he declares the inevitable truce with Mrs. Morgan, he is certain she was ``born mean''--and here Saltzberg shows us a bespectacled baby in a pram, pulling the stuffing out of a teddy bear. Throughout, Mrs. Morgan's pupils eerily float in her triangular glasses, and her house seems to sag and sway--quirky touches sure to amuse Saltzberg's audience. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)