Book summary: A & The, or, William T. C. Baumgarten Comes to Town


Anyone can read A & THE--the words that is, printed in boldface throughout the text: but the child who looks for them assiduously is apt to lose the thread of a tricky story, while on the other hand if he doesn't see T & C and recognize them when tie sees them, he may miss the point. To a block very like the one where Nothing Ever Happened comes William T. C. Baumgarten. He looks a prig anyhow and "T.C." convulses Horace and Morris and Luke, only Doris having the good sense/ goodwill to ask what the T. stands for. They can of course make nothing of The (it's not short for Theodore; might T. refer--great giggles--to toilet?) until on tire newcomer's first day of school Miss Goodapple relates, at some length and with Bayeux Tapestry-like insets, the story of William the Conqueror. Instantly Morris and Horace and Luke take notice, and turn around beaming. Whereupon "William The Conqueror Baumgarten, Iris head held high, . . smiled back a! his new friends" (re)producing the grin on the face of the first William. That smile is almost worth the discomfort of being peppered with boldface letters (sometimes in signs like EAT) and exposed to a history lesson--though we were glad to see one scholar snoozing: Miss Raskin's insight matches her outreach and usually she balances the two better.

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