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Gerald McBoing Boing (Little Golden Book) Hardcover – January 13, 2004
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"Just suppose," said Ted "Dr. Seuss" Geisel, "there was a little kid who didn't speak words but only weird sounds?" Thus Gerald McBoing Boing was born, brought to life by a studio called United Productions of America as an animated cartoon. This delightful, rhyming story went on to win an Academy Award in 1951, and was briefly made available as a book at the time of the movie's release. And now it's back!
When Gerald McCloy turns two, he doesn't start talking like most children--he says "Boing boing!" instead. His George Jetson-style father, turning gray, rushes to call Doctor Malone, who decrees there is no cure. In time, Gerald only increases in volume, shouting "Boom!" like a big keg of exploding powder. School is no help, either. He cuckoos and honks in the classroom, "And as little Gerald/ grew older, he found/ When a fellow goes BAM!/ no one wants him around."
Outcast, forlorn, he runs away from home. But just as he is about to board a slow-moving freight, the owner of the BONG-BONG-BONG radio station accosts him by the tracks. "I need a smart fellow/ to make all the sounds,/ Who can bark like a dog/ and bay like the hounds!/ You're GONG is terrific,/ your toot is inspired!/ Quick come to BONG-BONG-BONG,/ McBoing Boing--you're hired!"
This fun and funny picture book--soaked in muted Fiestaware colors--lilts and bounces and boings like a good read-aloud should. Children will discover that sometimes it's our quirks that end up making us special. (Ages 3 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
This nostalgic adaptation of a 1950 Academy Award-winning animated cartoon features Dr. Seuss's inimitable rhymes, plus images from Crawford's original animation stills, which he based on Seuss's drawings. Gerald McCloy, a saucer-eyed boy with a rooster's comb of hair, doesn't talk like a normal kid. Instead, he makes noises, "louder and louder/ Till one day he went BOOM!/ like a big keg of powder!" Gerald's onomatopoeic talents shock his parents (shown as a classic '50s shirt-and-tie father and bouffant-haired mother in an apron and heels); further, he earns the unkind playground nickname "Gerald McBoing Boing." Dr. Seuss states the issue succinctly: "When a fellow goes SKREEK!/ he won't have any friends./ For once he says, 'Clang clang clang!'/ all the fun ends." Gerald prepares to hop a train out of town, but he's stopped by a radio mogul in search of a sound-effects specialist. As in The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, eccentricity pays off, big time: "Now Gerald is rich,/ he has friends, he's well fed,/ 'Cause he doesn't speak words,/ he goes boing boing instead!" If the conclusion is a tad materialistic, Gerald does appear happy on the soundstage, dressed as a cowboy for a radio serial. Fans of retro graphics will thrill to the vintage illustrations, in shades of olive green, mustardy ochre and spicy red; the snazzy contrasting typefaces used for the sound effects make it easy for Gerald's admirers to honk and clang energetically along. Ages 5-8. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
Instead of speaking words, a small boy starts making sound effects. People make fun of him. He runs away from home. It's implied that his parents don't want him anymore. As he's about to get on a train and disappear, a man who owns a radio station finds him and he becomes a foley artist. Clearly, that's not something kids can quite identify with nowadays, but the idea is still there.
Message: Everybody can have a place that they fit. Something which seems like a flaw at first can be a strength when viewed from the right angle.
For more children's book reviews, see my website at drttmk dot com.