A Book of Tall Stories

Dennis Pepper, Author Oxford University Press, USA $12.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-19-278101-7
This collection of mostly American folktales is reminiscent of the stories children tell each other at sleepovers, on playgrounds or during long car trips: ""Wait Till Martin Comes'' (he never shows up); ``The Yellow Ribbon'' (the girl, on her deathbed, unties the ribbon she's always worn around her neckand her head falls off); ``The Smart Dog'' (he can talk, but he keeps the fact that he's a ventriloquist a secret) and others are among the saucy selections. The telling of the tales moves along at a good clipfew stories are more than a couple of pages long. And Pepper never lingers too long over the punch line; he displays a comedian's timing for knowing when the joke is over. Paul Bunyan and other heroes are here; so are the funny little asides (``She's so mean she'd steal a fly from a blind spider'') that tickle children. The cartoon-like illustrations by such artists as Alastair Graham, Mark Hackett and Penny Dann decorate the pagesbut most of the humor is in the images these stories conjure up. Ages 9-up. (September)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
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