Book summary: Silly Songs and Sad

1967 BY ELLEN RASKIN

Ellen Raskin is surely one of the most witty, ingenious and versatile illustrators going, and this is distinctly successful as a demonstration of her many artistic talents, less satisfying as a collection of light verses. Many are no-sense nonsense, snappy pop-outs only; a few are funny extensions of the commonplace (like Jake's long swim through the Great Lakes--"Michigan then/ Made him wearier,/ Poor Jake drowned/ In Lake Superior") or ephemeral but fastidious fables (the mouse who lives in a house "All made of dandelion/ Puffs,/ Puffs/ Puffs"--"You are welcome to his cheese/ But please don't sneeze"); in some cases where the verse itself is insignificant, the pictures extend the concept. Kids will love the look of the book, pick and choose among the pages.

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