Fooling Around

Any former student of mine can tell you that I say this about books all the time, so perhaps the designation and distinction could be called into some question, but I will still say that of all the many, many, many great picture books I have read, Russell Hoban and Quentin Blake’s How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen is one of my very favorites.  Partly for the way in which it seems to suggest that even the most apparently frivolous pursuits of a young child can turn out unexpectedly beneficial (though I would not presume to declare this the author’s intent; the interpretation is certainly mine), and partly because I continue to find much of the language (including the food mandates of greasy bloaters and cabbage and potato sog) delightfully unusual.  (I suppose I should not be surprised that the spellcheck doesn’t like the word sog.)

So if you haven’t seen the book, and like the sound of it, do find yourself a copy (and be ready to wait for the library to track one down for you unless you’re ready to pay a proverbial pretty penny for your own)!

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