cover image Aunt Nancy and Cousin Lazybones

Aunt Nancy and Cousin Lazybones

Phyllis Root. Candlewick Press (MA), $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-425-1

The heroine from this duo's earlier Aunt Nancy and Old Man Trouble (see Reprints below) returns to outwit a do-nothing relative in this spunky tale. Aunt Nancy dreads a visit from Cousin Lazybones, who is sloth personified. But ""family was family, so what could she do?"" Aunt Nancy never expected, however, the depths of Cousin Lazybones's flaw. His idea of washing the dishes is to turn dirty plates over to use the other side; he fetches water by setting a pail outdoors and waiting for rain. And even this minimal activity leaves the oaf physically spent. Aunt Nancy decides that ""Family is family. But enough is enough"" and to Cousin Lazybones's dismay, she comes down with a case of laziness herself. With all the chores left in his lap, Cousin Lazybones flees in horror. Root brings generous dollops of humor and homespun flavor to her folktale, carefully setting up Cousin Lazybones for a fall. Though the dialect is a bit uneven (in a few places, grammar is needlessly incorrect), the countrified idioms provide lots of flair. Parkins alternates shadowy full-color oils with spots of black-and-white silhouette art for a visually satisfying effect. His Cousin Lazybones is an unkempt bumbling giant of a man, the antithesis of diminutive Aunt Nancy in her tight coif and apron. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)