cover image Diane Goode's Book of Silly Stories and Songs

Diane Goode's Book of Silly Stories and Songs

Diane Goode. Dutton Books, $15 (64pp) ISBN 978-0-525-44967-6

Goode ( Where's Our Mama? ) here gathers 16 international tales and songs (including musical arrangements) introducing characters that demonstrate varying degrees of silliness. Some of the stories are silly to the point of being nonsensical, and leave the reader hanging. But others are jewels, humorously revealing human foibles and foolish behavior that even youngest readers will appreciate. One especially engaging entry, ``Bendemolena,'' tells of a young cat who, after putting a pot on her head to shut out the din in her home, misconstrues her mother's commands, which come out delightfully twisted when Bendemolena repeats them. Not surprisingly, the high point of the book is Goode's inspired--often highly comical--art, which has the same classic, timeless quality of many of these folktales. A visual bonus are the elaborately detailed borders--corresponding in design to the country of each tale's origin--that surround the pages. All ages. (Aug.)