THE CHEWING-GUM RESCUE by Margaret Mahy
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THE CHEWING-GUM RESCUE

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Age Range: 10 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another sampling of the redoubtable New Zealander's matchless wit and irrepressible imagination, 11 stories that-- like those in The Door in the Air (p. 474)--were published abroad years ago (in this case, 1982) but are being introduced here only now. These early yarns are wonderfully varied in tone but a touch uneven in quality; the title entry, a satire of advertising claims, derives its humor from outrageous slapstick, but even here amusing irony creeps in, along with ebullient wordplay. As in Mahy's other collections, each story is fresh, original, and grounded in bracing common sense--like the one about a family that buys a giant's house that's been converted for normal use except for the bath, which has a cavernous drain that is the source of the action (it wasn't possible to adapt the mammoth plumbing). The theme of creativity occurs several times, e.g. in a story about green thumbs that are viewed as an oddity except by others so gifted. The complaints of a curmudgeonly neighbor about an oddly assorted group of singers in a daily bus queue are the occasion for a charming lampoon of local politics. And, in the long final story, the devil tempts a community of people wise enough to use the talents he makes available without being corrupted by them, in an entertaining but thoughtful exploration of the difference between cleverness and wisdom. Ormerod's occasional drawings are not up to her fine recent work, but they include some nice passages. A must for Mahy fans. (Short stories. 10+)
Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1992
ISBN: 014036594X
Page count: 141pp
Publisher: Overlook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1991




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