Surprising things can happen when you take everyday expressions literally, which is just what Janet and Allan Ahlberg have done in this book. Here are stories about a horse made out of clothes, a woman who saves parts of her life till later, and a train that delivers the night.
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Each of the six shaggy-dog stories in this collection provides a literal interpretation of an everyday expression. In "The Clothes Horse," a magician creates an equine from old garments; the creature ends up on the vaudeville stage. A giant tosses troublesome boys of a certain moniker into a container in "The Jack Pot"; a woman hoards moments from her early years in "Life Savings"; and so on. While the initial concept may appeal to the literal-mindedness of children and their fondness for wordplay, the stories themselves are somewhat disappointing. Their silliness seems strained and arbitrary rather than genuinely funny, with adult undertones instead of a truly childlike perspective; and the chatty narrative voice begins to seem intrusive, even fey. In format, the collection falls somewhere between picture book and middle-reader. Full-color pictures decorate, rather than illustrate, the text; but these contain all the charm, humor and liveliness for which this husband-and-wife team (The Jolly Postman, The Baby's Catalogue, Peek-a-Boo, etc.) is renowned. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Puffin Books, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0141307986
Book Description Puffin Books, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Janet Ahlberg (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0141307986