Flamingos on the Roof

Calef Brown, Author
Calef Brown, Author Houghton $16 (64p) ISBN 978-0-618-56298-5
Open Ebook - 64 pages - 978-0-547-52891-5
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Brown (Polkabats and Octopus Slacks ) angles for the Silverstein or Prelutsky mantle in this collection of zany rhymes and funky folk-boho paintings. ""I eat my beans with lots of lard./ (The kind without the pork.)/ But here's the rub\x97/ this tasty grub/ just slides right off my fork,"" says one fellow, a monochrome study in stripes and swabs of denim blue, who recommends a ladle for slippery legumes. In a comical family portrait, a smug party girl praises her electrified birthday cake (""Plug it in and make a wish,/ then relax and flip the switch!""), while her offended grandfather dismisses the new-fangled gadget (""To get your wish without a doubt,/ you need to blow some candles out!""). In his holiday-spoofing title piece, children swear they've heard ""flamingos on the roof"" in December; other rhymes introduce ""Allicattor Gatorpillar"" and ""Medusa's sister Sally,"" notable for her ""single lazy snake"" and for petrifying people with small talk. The acrylic paintings of wall-eyed oddballs recall Maira Kalman's naïve portraits or flea-market trophies; in one image, an enigmatically smiling, yellow-slicker-clad girl awaits a treat at ""Weatherbee's Diner"" where ""they cook up a storm"" (""The thunder is wonderful, order it loud,/ with sun-dried tornado on top of a cloud""). Brown's volume constitutes an uneven variety show, unified by a hearty salute to eccentricity. Ages 6-12.(Apr.)
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