The Man: New York Times Notable Book of the Year

Raymond Briggs, Author, Raymomd Griggs, Author Random House Books for Young Readers $22 (1p) ISBN 978-0-679-87643-4
In marked contrast to his wordless The Snowman, Briggs's latest work is chock-full of text, presented as a dialogue between a boy, John, and a muscular, seven-inch-tall man who appears in John's room in the middle of one night. Following orders, the child fashions a tunic out of a sock for the naked fellow, whom John dubs Man. ""At last! Dignity regained,"" exclaims the newly clothed Man, who then announces, ""I'm dying for a pee,"" and proceeds to relieve himself in a glass of paint water. Man then insists on ""grub,"" and has only complaints for the brands of food that John fetches from the kitchen (""Bah! Rubbish! Old maids' tea. Mimsy wee-wee. Always get PG Tips,"" he says after the boy serves him a drink in a mug decorated with the image of The Snowman). Man's extended visit and incessant demands cause trouble between John and his parents, who are heard but never seen. Busy panel art drolly portrays the contentious rapport between John and Man, but Briggs's dry humor, allusions and liberal use of British colloquialisms may be beyond American youngsters. And though the characters' conversations touch on some worthy issues (self-image, identity, tolerance and diversity), it's a lot for kids to sort out. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/1995
Release date: 10/01/1995
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 64 pages - 978-0-09-910881-8
Hardcover - 978-0-517-27685-3
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