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THE TWO SILLIES by Mary Ann Hoberman

THE TWO SILLIES

By Mary Ann Hoberman (Author) , Lynne Cravath (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-15-202221-X
Publisher: Harcourt

Hoberman’s rhymes are ever a pleasure and so they are here in this staccato bit of folderol verse about taking the longest distance between two points. Silly Lilly wants a cat, but does she go scare one up at the local shelter? No. She takes the advice of her friend Sammy. First she cuts down a stand of trees, then builds a log cabin shed, then buys a cow, and when she milks the cow in her shed a cat wanders in to sample the goods. “Look! A cat has come! What fun! / You don’t have to get me one. / See, I didn’t have to do / All the work you told me to.” She isn’t called Silly for nothing. Then a mouse in the cabin frightens Sammy, who proceeds to follow Silly Lilly’s suggestion to go cut hay, gather catnip, build a bed for the cat, move the cow out of the shed, and lock the cat inside—all to be rid of the mouse. Sammy doesn’t make the connection when they return later—“Look how happy she does seem. / I bet she found a bowl of cream. / And look, the mice have gone away! / I guess they didn’t want to stay”—but then he isn’t the best friend of someone named Silly for nothing. Hoberman cares as much about the story, which is droll and warm, as she does the pleasing rhyme scheme. The well-paced repetitions in particular have the fine thrumming quality of a spoken charm. Cravath’s brightly colored illustrations fill most pages with homespun humor: Lilly all scrawny legs and bony elbows, Sammy a plump country fellow, suspenders barely holding up his trousers, and Lilly’s cat showing the evidence of its feast with one tiny tail hanging from its contented smile. A crowd-pleaser. (Picture book. 3-7)