This is one of those books that you buy as a gift for a child, then keep for yourself. Written by Patricia Marx, who has sharpened her wit on TV shows such as Saturday Night Live
, and illustrated by the inimitable Roz Chast, Meet My Staff
is perfect for anyone with a healthy funny bone, no matter what their age. Walter is a boy who has it easy, thanks to his huge staff of helpers. There's the Homework Helper, who knows just about everything, the Lima Bean Man, who handles all unpleasant vegetables, and even a crowd of laughers who think Walter is just hilarious
. There's a lot of stuff that needs to be done when you're a kid, and Walter has everything covered. The staff members are introduced in full-page, full-color cartoons that are packed with enough sight gags to reward repeated readings, and the story is sure to inspire the imagination of any 8-year-old who hates to tidy his or her own room. Grownups will realize that they need a staff too! How about Chris the Carpool Driver, or Samantha the Recycling Sorter? --Simon Leake
From Publishers Weekly
Marx and Chast (who teamed up, with Jane Martin, for Now Everybody Really Hates Me) introduce Walter, one lazy but clever fellow with a staff in tow to mitigate unpleasant chores. Miss Peck has the task of kissing Walter's unequivocally unkissable Aunt Winnie, whose annual gift of long underwear is acknowledged by Monsieur Monsieur, the boy's Personal Letter Writer. Mozart the cat practices piano for Walter, as his mother in the next room announces, "I'm beginning to hear a DEFINITE IMPROVEMENT!"; at suppertime the green-hued Lima Bean Man consumes his unpalatable namesake from Walter's plate as Delores De-cruster does her thing to his bread. Perhaps most useful of all is Larry Last Place, the willing loser to Walter in any game or contest. From their tasks to their titles, the characters will tickle youngsters?and most adults, who secretly covet such a brigade. Chast incorporates witty details into her rollicking cartoon art, among them the titles in Homework Helper's library (Faking French, Memorize U.S. Capitals in Your Sleep, Social Studies Can't Be Fun!), and the terror-stricken face of Mrs. Wrong, who, Walter smugly explains, "is happy to sit in the time-out chair for me." These collaborators pull off a fresh and playful idea with panache. Kids will eagerly return to these pages to meet Walter's eccentric team again and again with only one complaint: that this isn't a mail-order catalogue. All ages.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.