Meet Matilda, whose unfortunate habit of lying leads her to an unusually unfortunate fate. Grinning, sneering, and smirking, Matilda is the timeless sister of the boy who cried wolf in this hilarious Victorian cautionary tale with deliciously wicked two-color illustrations.
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A gruesome tale that originally appeared in Cautionary Verses (1941)--a seriocomic fable along the lines of ``The Boy Who Cried Wolf''; the humor is in Belloc's spritely cadence and his preposterous exaggeration. Simmonds, a gifted satirist, sets the tale in pompous Victorian London, with Matilda as a mischievous Charles Addams figure, the illustrations' predominating blacks and grays contrasting with her red-rimmed eyes and the lurid flames that consume her when the fire brigade refuses to come. Skillfully varying vignettes, multiple frames, and dramatic double spreads, Simmonds reflects both the humor and the grim lesson, though the fearsome cautionary aspect weighs more heavily in her concluding pictures. Some readers may prefer to leave Matilda's demise to the imagination or to stick with Kellogg's witty interpretation in pen and ink (1970, to be reissued in May); still, Simmonds's graphic representation is full of verve, handsomely produced, and entirely in the spirit of the original. (Poetry/Picture book. 5-9) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Belloc's heroine is one of several figures he conceived in satirizing the moralistic tales used in Edwardian England to instill proper behavior in children. Regrettably, Simmonds has illustrated one of the author's least hyperbolic--and thus least successful--verses. Matilda, an incorrigible fibber, calls the fire brigade out on a false alarm; later, when fire does indeed break out, she is disbelieved and left to burn to death. Despite a few delectable moments--the firemen take particular pains to drench the family portraits--the tale overall is macabre rather than funny, both because its denouement is not especially inventive and because death by fire is all too common. And, apart from the marvelous glint in Matilda's eye, Simmonds's illustrations, chiefly in muted pinks and grays, are restrained. A more wildly exaggerated and satisfying spoof can be found in Belloc's Jim, Who Ran Away from His Nurse and Was Eaten by a Lion , riotously illustrated by Victoria Chess. All ages.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Puffin, 1992. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110140545476
Book Description Puffin. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0140545476 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0964243