Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Books for Kids

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Books for Kids

Article excerpt

"Falling Up," by Shel Silverstein ($16.95, Harper). Here's a no-brainer. This collection of poem/nuggets - most are less than a dozen lines - is pitched right at a child's funnybone. Not all the poems hit the target, but lots do.

"Monday's Troll," by Jack Prelutsky, art by Peter Sis ($16, Greenwillow). The duo that brought us "The Dragons Are Singing Tonight," a collection of irresistible poems about one of childhood's major icons, is back - although not with quite the same degree of success. Maybe trolls aren't as cute as dragons (is that why there's a triple-headed dragon on the cover?) or maybe success brings an inevitable letdown, but these poems (with a few exceptions) don't have the depth and whimsy that was so appealing in the first book. Prelutsky and Sis set themselves a standard even they couldn't match.

"Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair," by Patricia Polacco ($15.95, Philomel). This is pure late-20th century propaganda, but the humor is so over-the-top, and the author's glee so apparent, that maybe we can just go along and have fun. The story concerns Triple Creek, where everyone loves TV so much they've forgotten how to read. Aunt Chip, however, decides to teach Eli to read and, of course, things spiral out of control. But resolve themselves happily. Polacco clearly delighted in creating this utterly unbelievable tale (but then, we're not supposed to believe it, only to mend our TV-driven ways) and a book that can laugh at itself is a book worth reading.

"Some Smug Slug," by Pamela Duncan Edwards, art by Henry Cole ($14.95, Harper). Don't congratulate yourself for pronouncing the title successfully. The text gets harder. A slug slithers up a slope, deaf to the warnings of a sparrow, a spider, a swallowtail, a skink, a squirrel, a stink bug - all of whom scream "Stop!' and "Saphead!" and every other "s" word they can think of. The smug slug is slithering up a huge toad, heedless. "Such a succulent slug!" is the book's conclusion. Practice your hissing and dig in.

"Red Wolf Country," by Jonathan London, art by Daniel San Souci ($15.99, Dutton). …

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