The Contrary Kid

Matt Cibula, Author, Brian Strassburg, Illustrator, Brian Strasbourg, Illustrator Zino Press Children's Books $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55933-177-7
Weirdness for its own sake seems to be the point of this artless offering. After a page-one definition of ``contrary'' that includes the terms ``willful'' and ``buggin' out,'' the Contrary Kid introduces himself. ``I color all outside the lines, but please don't disapprove--/ They took my favorite coloring book and hung it in the Louvre,'' he boasts. Elsewhere our hero expresses his fondness for bathing in ``spinach soup and collard greens''; admits to craving ``chocolate caterpillar pie'""; and confides, ``I'm really very selfish but I'll give you all my money/ I hop around the house a lot and roar just like a bunny.'' Cibula's (Slumgullion, the Executive Pig) plotless, hyperactive couplets are set in varied typefaces, with some words printed in colors and others as pictographs (the word ``porcupine'' has quills, ``caterpillar'' is written on said insect, etc.). This littered text competes for attention with equally overblown cartoons--and, as Strassburg stretches and warps his figures into ungainly compositions, the overall effect is none too pretty. Ages 4-up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/30/1995
Release date: 11/01/1995
Genre: Children's
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