MEM FOX is the author of many acclaimed books, including Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Possum Magic, Koala Lou, Time for Bed, and, for adults, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. She lives in Adelaide, Australia.
K-Gr 2-- Another tender, good-humored encounter between young and old from the author of Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge (Kane/Miller, 1985). As old Lily Laceby dozes peacefully in her armchair, her barrel-shaped dog, Butch Aggie, pricks an ear at the quiet click of car doors outside, cocks her head to the crunch of feet on the garden path, bristles at the mutter of voices, rumbles at the rattle of the doorknob, and finally breaks into barking when fists pound on the door. Lily wakes with a start, gets up and lets in--a horde of family and friends wishing her a ``Happy Birthday!'' ``Are you really ninety?'' whispers Emily, her great-great-granddaughter. ``Inside I'm only four-and-a-half, like you,'' Lily answers, ``but don't tell anyone.'' Fox builds up treamy scenes from Lily's life parade past in a wordless series of side panels. Emily looks older than four and a half, but that's a minor bobble in this happy collaboration. --John Peters, New York Public Library