MY SPECIAL BEST WORDS by John Steptoe

MY SPECIAL BEST WORDS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The special best words reported here are purportedly those of Steptoe's own family, as are the names of the two children, Javaka and his older sister Bweela who tell us that Daddy's best word is ILOVEYOU though he has others he says when he's mad wit' somebody. Gunkie who takes care of the children when Daddy works also says ILOVEYOU along with SSSHTHELADYDOWNSTAIRSISSLEEPIN'; Javaka's best words is (sic) TAKEABREAK and SPAGHETTIOS and PICKMEUPDADDY, and Bweela's own include WHATSHAPPENINMAN and PRETTYFUL. There's no plot line -- just Bweela's view of an average day which includes a car ride to Gunkie's, a chicken, mashie and cranberry sauce dinner cooked by Dad, and Javaka making stink in his pamper. The language and activities couldn't be more ordinary, and it's odd perhaps that when the author's stated intent is to convey the naturalness of natural functions he depicts his photo-realistic children with a zappy neon glow (as though seen on a maladjusted color TV) so that even the green "boogas, nasty boogas" running from Javaka's nose are more fluorescent than realistically snotty. Of course Steptoe has always wielded a heavy hand with both his paints and, less impressively but just as boldly, his messages.
Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1974




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