THE BOOGEY MAN by Arthur Crowley


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A stylish, tongue-in-cheek cautionary tale is not easy to pull off, but Crowley does it in perfectly controlled comic rhyme. The trouble begins at dinner: "" 'Son, you haven't touched your liver,'/Mother said, 'not one sliver.' "" And after coaxing and reprimands, Sonny ""rose and said, 'There is one meat/which I will never ever eat./Just one kind, there is no other./You know that meat is liver, Mother.' "" A teapot tempest destined to run out of steam? Not when Sonny is sent to bed with warnings of the Boogey Man--who does arrive, a proper nightmare with his teeth and claws and frizzy hair, but appealingly goofy too in his (literal) stocking cap and curly-toed shoes. And from announcing that naughty boys are his favorite treat, the Boogey Man goes on to complain about his loneliness--and Sonny goes on to urge him just to try a different food. ' ""Hmmm!' said Boogey. 'That's a thought.' /And so the two began to talk""--till dawn, when both Sonny and his parents undergo a change of mind. This is one of those rare, spoofy trifles that keep soaring higher right till the end, and Gusman's wobbly, pop-style drawings take off on their own from the tingly shivers and the not-quite-campy humor.

Pub Date: March 8th, 1978
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin