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Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace

James Proimos, Author
James Proimos, Author . Little, Brown $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-03292-6
Ebook - 978-0-316-07222-9
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Parents are more likely to appreciate Proimos's (Patricia Von Pleasantsquirrel ) blend of irony and parody than his target audience; the book's wry tone is similar to that of a documentary about a historical hero. How does an ordinary boy (“no more special than you are”) achieve world peace? Paulie begins by being kind to animals and reading to trees, but eventually “turn[s] his attention to mankind. He apologize[s] to his little sister for something he did when he was five years old.” The text consistently exaggerates Paulie's achievements (as do his parents) while the black-outlined illustrations and Paulie himself demonstrate what's really going on; when the narrator says that Paulie “was even kissed by a girl,” Paulie adds, “by my Aunt Margie.” Proimos's artwork is full of droll details that adults will chuckle about (Paulie mimics Nixon's famous peace pose and thinks he'll achieve world peace by passing out cupcakes). Although some young readers may find the theme difficult to understand because of the hyperbole, the message, as one character says, is “as much about the simple act of giving as it is about the cupcakes.” Ages 3–6. (Dec.)

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