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DROP DEAD by Babette Cole


by Babette Cole & illustrated by Babette Cole

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-679-88358-4
Publisher: Knopf

 Cole (The Bad Good Manners Book, 1996, etc.) proves that she can fracture more than Emily Post in this eccentric tale subtitled ``Or how we grew from one-year-old bald wrinklies into eighty-year-old bald wrinklies.'' A question from their grandchildren--``Gran and Grandad, why are you such bald old wrinklies?''--prompts two elderly folks to recite the major events of their lives, from birth to the moment they drop dead and are then ``recycled,'' returning as two scrawny chickens. In between they ``learned dribbling and burping . . . driving Dad's car . . . falling in love with the wrong person.'' They become stunt people, marry on location, and have ``your dad,'' a baby who jumps through a flaming hoop and into bed. They lose teeth, go bald, forget things, and recognize that their time will soon be up. In Cole's comical scenes, this couple strides through life together, as if they have known each other since birth--exactly the way children picture their older relatives. Pair this with Margaret Wild's Old Pig (1996) for a fairly complete definition of aging and death--one funny, one tender--aimed at the young. (Picture book. 5-7)