cover image The Walloping Window-Blind

The Walloping Window-Blind

Charles Carryl. Arcade Publishing, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-1-55970-154-9

Originally published in 1885, Carryl's stylish, nonsensical verse recalls the works of Edward Lear. The spare tale with a lilting refrain recounts the adventures of the Walloping Window-Blind's stalwart crew, who frolic on deck, run aground on a tropical island and manage to get off again. With their waggish imagery, impeccable rhymes and perfect scansion, the lyrics fall wonderfully on the ear--``And we sat on the edge of a sandy ledge / And shot at the whistling bee, / While the Binnacle-bats wore waterproof hats /As they danced in the sounding sea.'' Rand's ( The Sun, the Wind and the Rain ) sumptuous, double-page pictures deftly portray the narrative's frivolity while capturing the sea in all its moods, from slate gray to deep cobalt, as well as the island's pinks and browns. The ship itself--rigged with an oversize window shade--is a splendid creation, where crew members play hopscotch and a cook staggers under the weight of ``a number of tons of hot-cross buns.'' Using the musical setting at book's end, readers will find the rhythms of the text fall naturally into place when sung. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)