THE TRUTH ABOUT COUSIN ERNIE'S HEAD by Matthew McElligott

THE TRUTH ABOUT COUSIN ERNIE'S HEAD

Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 The sole child in this story is the unnamed narrator who dreads Thanksgiving with his combative relatives. Uncle Klaus flies in from Bangladesh (in a balloon); Aunt Helen and Uncle Max ride a bicycle ``down from Alaska.'' They bicker and argue over details of old family stories such as whether an airplane, a buzzard, or ``Mrs. Halusa and her casserole'' once fell on Cousin Ernie's head. When the narrator finds a home movie full of evidence that settles all the arguments, the holiday takes a sad turn, ending abruptly. The next year, the boy and his grandmother dislike the continuing silence enough to pretend to lose the film, launching the controversies anew. McElligott's first book shows his taste for the wacky and the absurd, which children have been known to like, but winds it through a silly story about adults. The mixed media artwork, too, shows promise; the kitchen-sink inclusion of visual asides demonstrates the artist's energy and enthusiasm, but doesn't add up to a funny whole. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-80179-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1996




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