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Potch & Polly Hardcover – August 30, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (August 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374360901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374360900
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,897,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Antisentimentalist Steig (Made for Each Other; Which Would You Rather Be?) crafts a screwball Cinderella story about a couple of klutzes. Potch was born laughing, with "an angel with a clown's face hovering over the bed." He grows from a chubby, happy boy into a chubby, happy, bald man not quite princely material. One day, costumed as Harlequin at a masquerade ball, he spies "the preternatural Polly Pumpernickel," a lanky socialite with a little head, big feet and plenty of charisma. "He was so smitten, he did a double backflip." (The illustrations leave this nimble move to the imagination.) Polly takes to Potch, too, but when his over-exuberant dancing lands her in the fountain, she gets steamed. The book tallies Potch's slapstick efforts to win her back, each resulting in an accident of vaudevillian proportions. In aptly loony images, Agee (Milo's Hat Trick) alludes to Krazy Kat's affection for the brick-toting Ignatz Mouse. He recalls classic comics with strong directional lines, sweeping curves, voice balloons and sound effects ("wok!... clonk!" after Polly flings a dictionary). As in other wacky courtships Popeye and Olive come to mind the romance is hard to fathom, but the puckish storytelling and artful compositions have considerable spark. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4-This irresistible picture book has it all: a tongue-in-cheek text brimming with deliciously alliterative phrases, wry cartoons that mix visual gags with a comic-book punch, and a plot featuring two lovers who are taunted by twists of fate and turns of slapstick humor. Born with a clown-faced angel cavorting nearby, Potch enjoys a happy childhood and grows into a contented adult. Then one day, he receives an invitation to a masquerade party and goes dressed as Harlequin. He is having a "ball at the ball" when he lays eyes on Polly Pumpernickel and is instantly smitten. Passions build as the couple takes charge of the dance floor. Just when it seems that they will "prance and pirouette" their way to a happy ending, Potch tosses his partner into the air and she accidentally ends up in the fountain, drenched and incensed. Determined to win his lady's hand, he concocts several elaborate and ridiculous schemes to impress her. Unfortunately, something always goes wrong, and it's up to Potch's angel to find a way to untangle the heartstrings of these star-crossed lovers. Steig's delivery is flawless and funny, as outrageous plot turns are balanced by straightforward, almost staccato language that moves along at an exhilarating pace. Highlighted by crayon lines and subtly colored in pastel hues, the hilarious artwork expands and enhances the text. The balding, paunchy Potch and orange-haired, pencil-thin Polly make quite an eye-catching couple, and Agee makes the most of their antics. Dialogue balloons, sound effects, and varied layouts keep the energy level high. A sublimely silly and thoroughly satisfying love story.
Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

William Steig (1907-2003) published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968, and received the Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (978-1416902065) in 1970. His works also include The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book, and Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books. His most recent books published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux are Shrek! (released by DreamWorks as a major motion picture) and Wizzil, illustrated by Quentin Blake. School Library Journal named Shrek! a Best Book of 1990 and said of it, "Steig's inimitable wit and artistic dash have never been sharper or more expertly blended."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on January 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"When Potch was born, there was an angel with a clown's face hovering over the bed. So Potch came into the world laughing..." He was a happy kid, who turned into an even happier adult. Then one night he met the not so lovely, Polly Pumpernickel, at a masquerade ball. "He was so smitten, he did a double backflip. A moment later the two were dancing... What an evening! The crowd stared as the pair continued to prance and pirouette, to weave and whirl. Polly thought Potch might be the daffy darling of her daily dreams, the one missing piece of her pie. Unfortunately, Potch's timing was off when he tossed the long and lanky Polly into the air, and she landed, with a huge splash, in the fountain. Now, how was he going to win back his one and only, true love..... William Steig's witty and engaging text is rich in tongue twisting alliteration, wordplay and wry humor. But it's Jon Agee's bold, bright, and busy cartoon illustrations, filled with playful and hilarious slapstick scenes and marvelous sound effects, that really steal the show. Kids will revel in all the outrageous dating catastrophes as they linger and explore each entertaining page. With a happily-ever-after ending to set everything right, Potch & Polly is a captivating, fun-filled, manic romp that begs to be read aloud and shared, and is sure to become an instant favorite at your house.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
William Steig and Jon Agee are two of my favorite children's book authors/illustrators, so this book is the best of both worlds. Steig, as usual, has written a witty, charming story and Agee has provided amusing illustrations to match; this is a tale of true love, one that I enjoy reading to my library classes (kindergarten through second grade) at Valentine's Day -- more to the point, the children enjoy the book, too.
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