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Betty Waterton.
Vancouver, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 1984.
94pp., paper, $5.95.
ISBN 0-88899-036-7. A Groundwood Book. CIP.

Subject Heading:

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13

Reviewed by Diane Harke.

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

Quincy, the eldest Rumpel, is an energetic pre-teen who thinks that sauté means to soak, and that a garlic clove is probably the same as a garlic clump. This sketchy culinary knowledge does not deter her from preparing spaghetti for eight. Nor does Quincy's youthful inexperience keep her from attempting to trim her own hair or pierce the ears of Leah, her younger sister. Even Morris, her little brother, falls victim to Quincy's persuasive ways. The ten dollars that she "blackmails" away from him is hastily spent on a very baggy "Save the Whales" t-shirt (the perfect thing to wear with new pink glasses).

While Quincy engages in one escapade after another, her parents continue on their distracted way. Mrs. Rumpel, elated with her new job in an umbrella shop, seems to spend most of the time listening to weather reports and praying for rain. Mr. Rumpel spends his time tending mushrooms in the garage; the latest in a long line of largely unsuccessful business ventures.

A blurb on the back cover promises readers that they will meet "the craziest and funniest family they've ever met between the covers of a book." Well, the Rumpels may be crazy and some of the time they are funny, but they certainly did not bowl me over with their (mis)adventures.

Competently written, this book is lacking the extra touches that bring characters and situations to life. While most young readers should be moderately entertained by Ms. Rumpel, they probably will not be crying out for a sequel.

Dianne Harke, Edmonton, AB.
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