Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1984
Ages: 6 and up
Themes: humorous books, word puzzles
Opening: C U N 10-S-E. (answer: See you in Tennessee)
Summary: (from my library catalog) Letters, numbers, and symbols are used to create the sounds of words and simple sentences which U R expected to figure out with the aid of illustrations.
I like this book because: I LOVE PUZZLES. Doesn’t everyone? The intended age level was 6-9, but that’s preposterous! I bet my gray-haired uncle would have enjoyed this too (okay, he went gray at 21, but I didn’t know him then). According to a contribution to THE ART OF WILLIAM STEIG by his daughter Maggie, Steig played a drawing game called ‘Five Lines’*, in which one person draws five random lines on paper and another adds to them, creating a face. Try it!
Resources/activities: read together with Steig’s first picture book from 1968: CDB!; have each student come up with one image and word puzzle, or let them work in teams. Play Five Lines*, mentioned above.
Today’s tidbit: From KidsReads.com: “Steig passed his father’s ideas about art and work on to his own children by encouraging them never to take nine-to-five jobs: his son Jeremy is a jazz flautist, daughter Lucy a painter, and Maggie an actress.”