Kaye Umansky was born in Plymouth, Devon. She taught in London primary schools for twelve years, specializing in music and drama. She now lives in north London with her husband and teenage daughter. She is the author of the popular Pongwiffy books.
Gr 4-6-Kaye Umansky's parody of a Dickensian tale (Candlewick, 2005) features Solomon (Solly) Snow, a hapless lad who leads an unfortunate existence of meager means in the village of Boring. His life seems rather hopeless until his parents reveal that he is a foundling, left on their doorstep in a basket one winter evening with no clues to his background except for a silver spoon in his mouth. His wretched adoptive parents have recently pawned the spoon, so Solly sets out to find the one clue that may help him learn more about his origins. Along the way, Solly is joined by two companions--Prudence, a young neighbor girl with smarts and an attitude, and a sickeningly sweet little beauty named Rosabel, the "Infant Prodigy." Chapters are short and periodically interrupted by scenes from the lives of Solly's "real" parents, who desperately wish they could find their son. Jenny Sterlin gives voice to this occasionally funny story, but her efforts aren't enough to keep listeners amused. The "Infant Prodigy" character is annoying, and Sterlin's voicing of this character is so cloying that listeners might be turned off. An additional purchase where the book is popular.-Casey Rondini, East Windsor Middle School, Broad Brook, CT Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.