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by Nancy Carlson & illustrated by Nancy Carlson

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-06296-6
Publisher: Viking

Henry’s imagination has a way of shanghaiing the truth during show-and-tell. He regales his classmates with fish stories and other implausibilities, like the alien that dropped in for a visit. Vivid, yes, but the students call him on it: “Aliens don’t land in backyards. They land at Disney World.” Fibber! But when darling, jug-eared Henry is forced to stick to the facts at show-and-tell… “We went to the store and bought cheese. Here is the cheese. We went home and made a cheese sandwich.” His teacher counsels a different path: His stories deserve to be on paper as works of fiction. Now Henry reads his stuff before the class, and a performance artist is born; what to believe is up for grabs, but entertainment is where it’s at. Carlson’s point is wrapped in sly humor and emphatic colors, giving cues as to how a time-honored brand of storytelling—the great tall tale—ought to be delivered. Readers will realize along with Henry’s classmates that brightening someone’s day with a stretch of the imagination is a gift. (Picture book. 6-8)