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ON A TALL TALL CLIFF by Andrew Murray


by Andrew Murray & illustrated by Alan Snow

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: June 15th, 2005
ISBN: 0-00-712155-5
Publisher: Collins Children’s Books/Trafalgar

Beneath a rickety town perched precariously atop chalky cliffs, sheep graze as vacationers mingle with rock climbers, a pirate, nesting birds and others, while in the equally populous underwater world, a shark is smitten with a submarine, scuba divers explore and a huge crab snags a fishing net, among other business. And all that’s just on the front endpapers of this exuberantly visual outing. There is a plot—Busby “borrows” friendly neighbor Puffle’s entire house, piece by piece, engaged in a mysterious project that turns out to be a rescue operation, because no sooner is Puffle’s house removed than the section of cliff it occupied collapses. A story of true, if wacky friendship, this is largely a pretext for the art: Each of Snow’s canted, weedy scenes offers enticing sights through the windows of wired-together houses, pets, rats and other creatures engaged in frantic stage business, and marvelous jumbles of bric-a-brac in the yards. Children may not remember the story long, but they’ll definitely pore over the pictures. (Picture book. 6-8)