His Shoes Were Far Too Tight

Edward Lear and Daniel Pinkwater, illus. by Calef Brown. Chronicle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8118-6792-4
Pinkwater and Brown honor a fellow champion of absurdity, Edward Lear, in this frisky collection. Even before readers get to the poems, a cartoon self-portrait of Lear in the introduction (he looks a bit like a bearded balloon) hints at the revelry that's to follow. Brown's elegantly quirky collages convey the gentle lunacy of the Owl and the Pussycat (who gaze at each other adoringly, dressed in debonair threads), and lesser-known characters like the Quangle Wangle, whose gigantic hat becomes home to the toe-less Pobble (who appears separately in his own poem) and other creatures. These seasoned collaborators provide an assuring nudge for readers to embrace Lear's sumptuously silly verse. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/18/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
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