Books by Edward Sokol

Released: Aug. 31, 2000

Artist Sokol makes an appalling writing debut with a book in which bold and colorful illustrations dude up what is meant, obviously, to be a naïvely magical text. In reality, the book achieves such a paucity of thought and meaning as to be utterly inane, disrespectful of craft, and condescending to even the youngest, most gullible of its intended readership. They are invited to meet Stinky Magee, a "funny little guy with curly orange hair, green eyes . . . and big ears that stick out really far." Big ears, which could have been the basis for a magical metaphor or simile, make Stinky a dead ringer for his grandpa Captain Silas Hornblower Magee, basically an illustration opportunity since he's extraneous to the story; indeed, some sophisticated youngsters may wonder why he's mentioned at all. Stinky has a magic hobbyhorse Shnoopsie, who flies him to the secret land of Snaggamumfrey after hearing the magic words, "Be good, be fast . . . be gone!" In Snaggamumfrey wishes come true; it is ice cream that Stinky's after, an "extra-special ice-cream sundae . . . with a bright red, really red cherry on top!" Replete, Stinky flies home, sleeps, and wakes to discover it was all just a dream. Worse than the story is the sense that the author believes that the too-cute language ("Peep, pop, tiddle-op") will be appealing to children. Get serious. Be gone, Stinky. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >