Runaway Opposites

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9780152587222: Runaway Opposites

A collection of humorous poems about the opposites of various words.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-6?The jacket blurb says it all: "Henrick Drescher has run away with some of Richard Wilbur's favorite opposites." Here the artist supplies boisterous, challenging illustrations for 15 of the poet's Opposites and More Opposites (both Harcourt, 1991). The poems are wry and teasing: "The opposite of trunk could be/The taproot of a cedar tree./In terms of elephants, however,/The answer tail is rather clever." The artwork, photographed collages including tiny objects, stamps, large assembled objects, and black line as well as full-color water-based drawings, offer layers of meaning and a real interpretative challenge. Together, the text and art create an irresistible synergy for those willing to invest the time to appreciate the sophisticated pairing. People are surreal, portrayed with beaks and lurid multi-colored flesh. Text swarms over the pages. (In one case, flies do, too.) At times, the collage technique used on the individual letters makes it difficult to decipher the words. The endpapers are a riot of personal photos, correspondence among those involved in the production of the book, and miscellany. This book will have great appeal for a narrow audience, but its quirky sophistication may preclude a wide readership.?Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Drescher (The Boy Who Ate Around; Pat the Beastie) pays homage to Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Wilbur's verse and the result is equal parts silliness and wit, with the artist's playful grotesques populating every page. Wilbur's poems range from couplets to multiple stanzas, presenting puzzle-like proofs rather than standard opposites. The opposite of "doctor," he jokes, is "anyone who makes you sick"; "hat" is the reverse of "shoes/ For shoes and hat together/ Protect our two extremes from weather." Drescher assembles his collages on backgrounds of dark, textured paper, and forms the text by hand-lettering or cutting out newsprint, a la B-movie ransom notes. His raw, studiedly imperfect designs include metal trinkets attached with masking tape; canceled postage stamps; cartoon details and borders; and sepia-tone photo portraits, often given feathery arms and beaky noses. One memorable spread contrasts an armadillo with a pillow-the creature walks on four human feet (clad in black pumps), and feathers litter the page: "'Oh, don't talk nonsense!' you protest. / However, if you tried to rest/ Your head upon the creature, you / Would find that what I say is true." Kid-pleasingly silly and Generation X-pleasingly raffish. All ages.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Wilbur, Richard
Published by Harcourt Childrens Books (J)
ISBN 10: 0152587225 ISBN 13: 9780152587222
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Richard Wilbur, Henrik Drescher (Illustrator)
Published by Harcourt Childrens Books (J) (1995)
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