Sunday, 16 February 2014

Gorky Rises by William Steig

I've written before about my love of William Steigs stories. Here's another one. For ages four and up this is about Gorky, the frog who makes a Georges Marvellous Medicine type potion, and takes off, up, up into the sky. 
Whats great about this book? Well, it has a wide streak of oddballness running through it, which I love. The way it is written - perfectly -  is ideal to read aloud. But there is one page, which might put people off - it certainly did on the reviews. See it below..
Gorky's parents had been out all night looking for him. By now, they were so worried they were ready to kill themselves just to end their misery. They were scouring the terrain in the neighborhood of home, peering behind every bush, stone, and tree, and into every hole and crevice, no matter how tiny.

Listen, you'd really need to read the whole story to see if you'd like it (you would) but as I am recommending it I thought the sensible thing to do was to point this out too. 

Look at the animals watching him fly overhead. That guy in the left is a donkey, holding the reins of a horse. 
And  here, he flies over his cousin Gogol. He is very pleased to see the expression of envy and surprise on Gogols face. Which is a bit mean but completely normal. It is impossible not to like Gorky.
And so on he goes, higher and higher up into the atmosphere, causing the townspeople of Prunville to wonder "What the doodad was keeping him up there?" (my favourite line).

Its a strange, funny, good book. But bear in mind; it does encourage a LOT of messing in the kitchen.

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