Picks and Pans Review: The Stray

updated 02/25/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/25/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Betsy James Wyeth

N. C. Wyeth was famous for his bold-lined illustrations of classics such as Treasure Island. Now his grandson, Jamie, has done drawings for this curious book written by Jamie's mother. The plot reads like an imaginative bedtime story told by one's favorite aunt. The flavor is Joel Chandler Harris—that is, faintly Southern rural—without dialect. It involves dogs, pigs, foxes and other creatures who live in a place called Ford (the Wyeths' homestead is in Chadds Ford, Pa.). Adventures revolve around waterfalls, stolen crowns, overheard threats of blackmail and orphaned piglets. The illustrations, light-lined and wispy, furnish the needed evidence that a fat sow named Den Den can indeed look wonderful in a curly wig with a slash of lipstick across the snout. The result is tolerable if shared with a child. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $12.95)

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