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Elvis Lives!: and Other Anagrams Hardcover – April 11, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (April 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374321272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374321277
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #834,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With characteristic glee, oxymoron and palindrome fiend Agee (Who Ordered the Jumbo Shrimp?; Sit on a Potato Pan, Otis!) here presents a set of anagrams--some of them borrowed from other wordplay enthusiasts. In this latest effort to unravel and reconstitute language, he demonstrates how letters can be rearranged to produce new meanings and pumps up the humor with pen-and-ink cartoons. Four sequential opening pages follow a fellow with a recognizable pompadour and polyester suit as he emerges from a manhole, proceeds to a billboard reading "Elvis" and shuffles the word to spell "Lives." (He reappears on the closing page, posing on a billboard for "Levi's.") In the single-page images that follow, "astronomer" converts to "moonstarer," and a pig pronounces a "dormitory" chamber a "dirty room." A spread of serpentine freeways that would inspire claustrophobia in Mario Andretti accompanies "Southern California" as "hot sun, or life in a car." In each case, Agee wittily unifies the dual results with his illustrations. For sophisticates, a sketch of an artist's studio shows "Piet Mondrian" pausing in his work to say, "I paint modern." And for fans who've noted the artist's penchant for depicting inmates, he offers a double entendre with a picture of prisoners painting vertical lines in their cell: "Stripes/persist." Agee--who must be one heck of a Scrabble player by now--creates a sketchbook of sorts that exposes words' hidden secrets. Ages 6-up. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up-Be prepared for a little giggling in the library when readers discover Agee's collection of more than 60 anagrams. Some of the selections are simple: "The eyes/They see," or "Alien forms!/Life on Mars?" Others will be more appreciated by adults: "Committees/Cost me time!," or "Southern California/Hot sun, or life in a car." The black-and-white cartoons are an integral aspect of the humor, and in some cases the anagram does not make sense without the picture: "Nice seat/I can't see" is illustrated by a huge man seated in front of a film screen with a disgruntled, considerably smaller gent behind him. At the end of the book, Agee credits the anagrams' authors when known, and includes a bibliography of "word books" for language enthusiasts. Be sure your cataloging record includes the subtitle, so that hopeful Elvis fans are not misled. Charming, well executed, and fun.
Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Agee rearranges the letters in these words and phrases with funny results. For example:
elvis = lives
nudist colony = no untidy clothes
alien forms = life on mars
committees = cost me time
eleven plus two = twelve plus one
In writing they are clever, but with his illustrations they are hilarious.
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