An uneven collection of short stories, each between two and six pages, that puns and parodies its way through the annals of children’s literature.
Intended to spark the imagination of children who do not have the patience to read full books, much of the humor presented in The Impatient Imagination will likely only be understood by adults with relatively sophisticated literary backgrounds. Full of wordplay, bad jokes and retellings of many of the Jack tales beloved by children, this twee collection annoys more than delights. The author appears to have adapted some of the conventions of Lemony Snicket, and imbues the text with a touch of Dr. Seuss as well. Fisher’s version of the â€œHouse that Jack Built” poem will likely be more irritating for kids than amusing, as he formats it like an annotated poem with distinctly unfunny, punny footers. There are several poems that are quite lovely, mostly because the author dispenses with the otherwise unending stream of witticisms, backward spelling and phonetic games. And some tales do involve logical thinking and offer genuine challenges to the reader. Yet some tales might lead the reader to question whether being generous or kind holds any reward. The retelling of O. Henry’s famous â€œGift of the Magi,” found here in the form of the poem â€œBraids,” is a simplistic synopsis that neither enlightens nor enchants. Six pages of games, riddles and puzzles related to each of the stories form an addendum at the end; many of the questions are didactic but others may spark imaginative answers. As a picture book, it is sparse on illustrations; those that do appear, including the lackluster cover image, seem culled from outdated clip art and home photographs.
A collection of self-conscious, verbal humor that will leave most children only impatient for the end. (Picture book. 9-15)