cover image Who Ordered the Jumbo Shrimp?

Who Ordered the Jumbo Shrimp?

Jon Agee. HarperCollins, $15.99 (80pp) ISBN 978-0-06-205159-2

Palindrome collector Agee (Go Hang a Salami! I'm a Lasagna Hog!) turns his attention to oxymorons in this witty compendium. He pairs 60 illogical sayings like ""Near Miss"" and ""Sharp Curves"" with his own loosely drawn, duotone illustrations; as the cover image of a sofa-size ""jumbo shrimp"" demonstrates, his pleasure from oxymorons depends on observational humor, a la George Carlin or Jerry Seinfeld. In the picture for ""Civil War,"" a knight apologizes for beheading his opponent, while in ""Good Grief,"" a man roars with laughter at the gravesite of someone named A. Dork. ""Drag Race"" shows pedestrians pulling souped-up cars, and ""Industrial Park"" pictures a fenced-in factory where a child tries to fly a kite. Agee shows the irony in such terms as ""Down Escalator"" and ""Great Depression,"" and alerts readers of all ages to the many cliches of the English language. Not every one of these New Yorker-style cartoons is a hoot, but that's okay: surely Agee wouldn't want to start a laugh riot. Ages 9-up. (Sept.)