MORE ROOTABAGAS by Carl Sandburg

MORE ROOTABAGAS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Three volumes of the "American fairy tales" the poet called "Rootabaga Stories" were published between 1922 and 1930; later, according to an introduction by Sandburg scholar George Hendrick, he wrote dozens more that have never been published. Here, Hendrick selects ten that "most reflect Sandburg's incomparable storytelling magic." Favorite characters and places--"The Potato Face Blind Man," "Ax Me No Questions," "The Village of Liver and Onions"--join characters with names recalling Sandburg's children's nicknames ("Spink," "Skabootch," "Swipes") and some grand new ones (one trio: "Burnt Chestnuts," "The Beans Are Burning," and "Sweeter Than The Bees Humming"). For connoisseurs of Sandburg's uniquely whimsical and melodious use of the American idiom, these tales are a delight; the ruminative, ear-tickling repetitions, visual images, astonishing juxtapositions, airy surreal happenings, and sly metaphorical comments on human foibles are all here in strength. And Zelinsky's accomplishment is equally great. Using colored pencils on plastivellum drafting film, he mirrors and embellishes Sandburg's fantastical creations with enormous delicacy and imagination, providing dozens of delicious variations on the rutabaga theme (one becomes a coiled blue cat with downward-descending tail, others have fey creatures nestled in their greens), limning characters with characteristic energy, artfully manipulating the very text. His art for the last tale, where the poet makes a cameo appearance, is especially lovely and ingenious. Splendid in every way. (Fiction. 4+)
Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-679-80070-0
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1993




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