by Vera B. Williams

Elana Rose Rosen and her mother moved to an apartment on the 8th floor of 514 Melon... read more

Elana Rose Rosen and her mother moved to an apartment on the 8th floor of 514 Melon Hill Avenue, and. according to Elana, she loved it from the first minute. Not so, says her mom, but that doesn't matter because as soon as her scooter was unpacked, Elana was out on the sidewalk practicing jumps. A minor accident proves to be one way to get acquainted, and Elana does - with other kids from the building, like Jimmy Beck, Eduard from 4K, Adrienne whose parents own the store and Vinh and Siobhan and Beryl, who wears lipstick already. And with Petey, the child who brought home Elana's scooter after the accident, the child who always wears a hat, which is OK, but doesn't talk, which isn't. Elana also gets to know some of the adults in her building: Benny Portelli the super, Mom's longtime friend Celia, and Mrs. Grenier, the most trying of the grown-ups. Elana can also be trying, and even stages a major pages-long absolutely authentic tantrum following a misunderstanding with her mother. In addition to scooter tricks, Elana creates personal acrostics, makes vegetable soup and even allows Mrs. Grenier to show her how to make a good fat pom-pom. Elana, her mother and the community in which they live are marvelously characterized. On every page in the 29 brief chapters, Williams' black and red artwork provides something visual, from inventive wordplay to a soup recipe to a few scooter tire tracks. This highly original novel involves the Security provided by a Community, seems Old-fashioned in comforting ways, Offers an unforgettable main character, is Emotionally honest and Rolls along fast while dealing with matters of immediacy to children. (Ages 4-7 for listening and 8-11 for reading and doing)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1993

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