Author and illustrator Calef Brown is a blue elephant, we're told on the back flap of the book, and we half-believe it, judging from this exuberant, unforgettable collection of 14 ultra-hip rhyming stories about everything from sleeping fruit to a funky--and we mean funky--snowman. In comical folk-art paintings
, bathed in truly delicious colors, we meet Ed. "Introducing Ed, / with cherries on his head. / He says, 'I like the color,' / So all his stuff is red..." One odd hamlet is described like this: "Clementown is greenish, / the people tall and leanish, / the dogs bark very loudish, / but not because they're meanish." Brown sings the praises of "Snails" as well: "...they don't make threats, / they don't eat meat, / they don't place bets, / they almost always pay their debts / and never puff on cigarettes." These poems are as nonsensical as Edward Lear's, but clearly for modern hipster kids, and, well, adults, too. (Click to see a sample spread
. Illustrations © 1998 by Calef Brown.) (All ages) --Karin Snelson
From Publishers Weekly
HWith ebullient Dixieland/ragtime jazz as accompaniment, Pinkwater, children's book author and radio personality, gleefully performs Brown's 14 hip and funny story-poems. An on-air rave about this book by Pinkwater during his children's book segment on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Saturday back in 1998 helped put the title on the map (and obviously gave Pinkwater an edge when it came time to cast this audio production). Listeners can't help hearing Pinkwater's clear appreciation of the silly subject matter; at times he seems on the verge of giggling, reading lines like "Funky Snowman loves to dance./ You'd think he wouldn't have much chance/ without two legs/ or even pants.... Kick it, Funky Snowman!" Out-of-the-ordinary images abound, from a "tightrope traffic jam" of circus performers on Highwire 66 to the Bathtub Driver and his three-legged duck and Georgie Spider, pie baker extraordinaire. A great title for National Poetry Month, or any time. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.