After Alpha's parents have a spat, two devil's imps turn Papa and Mama into a lump of coal and an egg, and move in, along with their dirty baby, and cause chaos. But they're no match for clever Alpha!
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Alpha's parents' childish quarrel (``You forgot to wash my nightshirt!'' ``Wash it yourself, lazybones''... ``I've got a good mind to go off and join the navy'') is overheard by a devil's imp who takes the opportunity of turning Papa into a lump of coal and taking his place while his wife, bringing along their baby, replaces cross Mama. Alpha isn't fooled for a minute, but she bides her time, following the imps' orders to ``unmake the beds and bring the garbage in.'' Then, as soon as they go to bed (without brushing their teeth, of course), she gets to work, cleaning up for all she's worth. When the imps find her washing their baby, they're horrified. They bring back Mama and Papa and hop off, leaving the little family peaceable at last. Transforming the parents' frightening behavior into a fantasy in which the child seizes the initiative, cleverly ousting the intruders, Cole tells a lively, preposterous tale full of role reversals that are sure to delight young readers. His language is spare, energetic, and laced with humor; his pencil and watercolor art swirls with the imps' disorder (they're not evil, just rowdy), their flailing figures and raucous faces countered by Alpha's resolute serenity. A thoroughly entertaining story with a serious (but unobtrusive) theme. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From School Library Journal:
Kindergarten-Grade 3-- In this latest offbeat contemporary folktale by Brock Cole, Alpha's quarreling parents are transformed into a lump of coal and an egg by a family of mischievous imps. Being imps, they can't stand cleanliness, so Alpha, who looks to be about seven, is put to work dirtying the floor, the laundry, and the dishes, and bringing the garbage in . However, our heroine is a resourceful lass, and comes up with a scheme to combat the imps and their dirty baby. Story and colorful cartoon illustrations are equally engaging. The setting is turn-of-the-century small-town America, with lots of entertaining background details. Even the (human) family's flock of chickens is worth watching, forming as they do a sort of manic Greek chorus to the main action. A fast-paced, humorous fable on the perils of squabbling, starring a sturdy little girl armed against the powers of mischief with a bar of soap, this would be an enjoyable read-aloud or -alone. --Barbara Hutcheson, Greater Victoria Public Library, B.C., Canada
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0374403570
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brock Cole (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0374403570
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR, 1995. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110374403570
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0374403570 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1051141