This whimsical novel introduces us to a quirky Upper East Side family: Pops is a mad inventor; Mother a well-intentioned if flighty socialite; young Sis a tiny, madcap theater impresario; and the narrator, her earnest, sweet brother Alan. One day, Pops's inventions falter and this lovably eccentric family loses every penny. They wake up to find that they and the entire contents of their penthouse have been transported to Central Park. Aided by their two loyal housekeepers and fed by the maitre d' from their favorite restaurant, the family makes Central Park into a surprisingly comfortable home. But soon the strains of life--and weather--tear apart the parents' relationship. As Christmas approaches, the children must find a way to reunite them. With kimono-clad squirrels and a visit by a Yeti, this delicious tale is a love letter to family, creativity, and New York.
"This is a quirky story of one very unique New York family. The narrator is 10 year old Alan, and through him we learn about his 7 year old theater obsessed sister Sis, his chain smoking, socialite Mother and his eccentric inventor father, Pops. The family is doing well until some financiers back out on some of Pops' inventions and the family wakes up one morning to find that they, and their stuff, are all set up in Central Park because they are penniless. It's written like a children's book, and lavishly illustrated with New Yorker style drawings by the author (she's been a cartoonist at The New Yorker since 1988), but the story itself is rather more for adults than for children. It's a delightfully odd book that keeps you turning the pages trying to figure out just what is happening to this family. There's a touch of magic to the whole thing that will leave you with a smile on your face. I certainly did on mine."