FIGGIE HOBBIN by Charles Causley


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Thirteen delicately nonsensical or teasingly lyrical rhymes by a British poet, introduced by Horn Book reviewer Ethel L. Heins and pleasantly illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman whose swirling beards and tresses and twisted trees are becoming ubiquitous. To American ears some of Causley's faraway verses verge on the precious (as in ""Tell Me, Tell Me, Sarah Jane,"" in which a wispy-haired dreamer rhapsodizes in hushed italics about the sea) and some of his dialogue has an old fashioned stiffness (as the child's reply to a fox who wants some chicken: ""Oh no, you beggar, and never, you thief./ My chicken you must leave,/ That she may run and she may fly/ From now to Christmas Eve""). However, we can share in the enjoyment of such Englishisms as ""I saw a jolly hunter/ With a jolly gun/ Walking in the country/ In the jolly sun//. . . Bang went the jolly gun./ Hunter jolly dead./ Jolly hare got clean away./ Jolly good, I said"" -- and Causley has a highly polished, pleasingly tripping touch: ""Colonel Fazackerley Butterworth-Toast/ Bought an old castle complete with a ghost,/ But someone or other forgot to declare/ To Colonel Fazack that the spectre was there. . . . ""In all, light, literate, and well worth the crossing.

Pub Date: Nov. 2nd, 1973
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Walker