FIGHTING WORDS by Eve Merriam

FIGHTING WORDS

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Dale, on his toy-sized farm, glares across the river at Leda, who stands tall as a skyscraper in her city. Each is jealous of the other (``Leda hates Dale. He...can ride a horse.'' ``Dale wishes he had hair like Leda's''). Agreeing to meet for a fight, they hurl colorful insults, beginning with ``oaf'' and ``dolt'' and going on to ``nincompoop'' and ``blunderbuss'' as they scamper through a city bristling with visual references to conflict (``Brut for Men,'' a police car leading a military parade, ``Rambo,'' a smoke-breathing dragon, etc.), through a baseball game (``Dale winds up and lets go. NINNY''), and on to the zoo (``dodo,'' ``booby'') until, with both hoarse, their quarrel dwindles away (``picayune,'' ``pip-squeak''). Poet Merriam, who has assembled this intriguing string of epithets, weaves them creatively into an amusing scenario; but Small's vigorously drawn illustrations, which cleverly contrive to celebrate the richness of the language while humorously deprecating the activity, steal the show. (Picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: March 12th, 1992
ISBN: 0-688-09676-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1992




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