cover image Solomon the Rusty Nail

Solomon the Rusty Nail

William Steig. Farrar Straus Giroux, $16 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-374-37131-9

Steig has created a story and pictures as richly inventive as his applauded Abel's Island, Yellow and Pink, The Amazing Bone and all his other picture books. Beautifully written and illustrated by paintings reflecting the sunny colors of spring, the adventures of Solomon the rabbit lad start when he discovers he can metamorphose into a rusty nail. It's a lark to fool his family by working the magic that makes him disappear, then saying the phrase that brings him back. But the fun stops when the cat Ambrose snatches Solomon and totes him home for Clorinda to cook. The rabbit turns into the nail, but Ambrose, who's on to the trick, tells his wife they'll wait until the captive is a plump bunny again, ready for the stewpot. When Solomon remains inertly iron too long, enraged Ambrose nails him to the house. What happens thereafter is exciting, comic, touching and altogether wonderful: a classic by a peerless artist. (All ages)