What is the sound of one hand clapping? Or perhaps a better question would be, if someone puns alone in the woods, is it still funny? This collection of four fractured fairy tales prominently features body parts without being bawdy. Most of the characters, like Handsel and Gretel, have hands for heads (though they also have arms and hands in the normal arrangement). Others, like Handerella's ugly stepsisters, have feet atop their bodies, while Nose White's most prominent protuberance is obviously her proboscis. Thumbelina gets short shrift, being a single (inexplicably blue) digit whose story is told in just two pages. Jokes, both visual and verbal, abound, as do puns and other forms of wordplay. Repeated readings may reveal some of the more subtle humor, but most of it will slap readers across the face immediately and (dare we say it?) quite handily. Not, perhaps, for a wide audience, but there are definitely those who will be willing to give this quirky work a hand (sorry!) and a loud hurrah. Original and entertaining. —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Joan Holub's right hand has written many books for children. So far, her left hand has show no writing talent, and spends most of its time lazing around in lavish costume jewelry. Joan enjoys thumb wrestling and hand tools, and is often seen wearing garden gloves, oven mitts, or glittery fingernail polish--depending on the occasion. She lives Texas.
Michael Slack is an artist, character designer, and occasional animator. His illustrations have appeared in Time, Nickelodeon, Ranger Rick, and the New York Times. He illustrated Ick: The Game for Chronicle Books. This is his first children's book. He lives in California.