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TALES FROM GIZZARD’S GRILL by Jeanne Steig

TALES FROM GIZZARD’S GRILL

By Jeanne Steig (Author) , Sandy Turner (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-000959-4
Publisher: HarperCollins

In three rhymed Old West tales, Steig casts a tough-talking but motherly Sheriff and a crew of wanderers who settle into unlikely occupations. First, to the town of Fiasco come a Lonesome Cowboy and a repentant horse thief, who open a bakery together. Then a patent medicine salesman turns resident music teacher after his daughter dowses a new well for the stricken town. And in the wake of a stinky foot duel—“Point blank their feet were aimin’, / Right at each other’s nose, / And they yowled and gasped and each turned green, / And blue, and puce, and rose”—a blustering stranger pairs off with a (perhaps literally) crusty old lady as town exterminators. Steig’s previous titles carried her late husband’s distinctive illustrations; here, she’s found an apt successor in Turner, who presents oddball, minimalist sketches of figures with character-actor faces beneath big, colorful hats, against beige backgrounds. The smelly-foot trope is a perennial crowd-pleaser, but adults may be won over more easily than child readers by these ballads. (Poetry. 8+)