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The noted German author/illustrator collects snippets of his poetry and prose into a book which will find most currency amongst students of his work. Most of the stories he re are short, fable-like concoctions, many with cynical endings (e.g., a father hare gives advice to his three children as they go out into the world; the only one who survives is the one who ignores him; conclusion: ""Such things do happen""). The poems are mostly doggerel and seem produced to match the many colorful illustrations, which are funny, earthy, and charming. The whole is tied together with the animal theme, though the final, most entertaining sequence involves imaginary creatures called ""snoddles."" Anthea Bell's translation is, as usual, excellent and smooth, serving the author's intent in language and style, but it cannot conceal the fact that this is really a collection of odds and ends cobbled together to make a book which, in style and sentiment, is inaccessible to most American children. Collectors of Janosch's art, however, will have a field day.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1986
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Century Hutchinson--dist. by David & Charles