THE MAN WHO KEPT HOUSE by Kathleen & Michael Hague--Adapts. Hague


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Hague plays up the slapstick comedy inherent in this old story of the farm husband who switches chores with his wife and ends up with the house in chaos and his own head in the cooking pot. He lands there, you'll remember, after putting the cow to graze on the roof and tying himself to the cow, who then falls off the roof and pulls the man up the chimney. In the beginning Hague's pictures are simple and direct, but imitative, in style, featuring an 18th-century husband who, if he were on stage instead of in a book, would be seen as overacting. The richest scene, a double-page uproar with farm animals loose in the house and objects suspended in air, is a jumble of classic picture-book passages. Throughout, a fat, sunburned baby applauds his father's antics. The story is always good for pointed laughs, and the strong situation survives Hague's broad and heavy treatment; but its prior wide exposure makes this project doubly redundant.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1981
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich