cover image The Silly Book

The Silly Book

Babette Cole. Doubleday Books for Young Readers, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-385-41237-7

In spite of the promise of this book's title, nothing could prepare the reader for the wackiness inside. The well balanced combination of text and artwork engenders utter lunacy on a scale that defies description. The rhyming text holds more to a concept than to an actual story line. ``Silly hats are there to hide / some very silly heads / inside!'' is accompanied by a picture of several odd people losing their hats in a windstorm, only to reveal that their weirdly contorted heads are in the exact configurations of the hats that blew off. Short anecdotes of the exploits of truly silly people are enhanced by numerous sight gags; the illustrations teem with odd contraptions that must be examined closely to savor their intricacies. Cole's original brand of humor and offbeat point of view are only two of the rewards to be gleaned from this delightful free fall from sanity. Ages 4-8. (June)