From “lamebrain” to “feet of clay,” a heaping handful of English idioms, similes, metaphors, and other colorful turns of phrase.
Using Street’s There’s a Frog in My Throat! 440 Animal Sayings a Little Bird Told Me (2003, illustrated by Loreen Leedy) as a model, Street and Brace group their entries by body part and pair each to a literal-minded alternative or explanation: “She knit her brows. She frowned in concentration”; “I’m hip. I know what you mean.” Brace jumps up the humor with spreads of demonstrative cartoon figures—including animals, animate internal organs, and even zombie bunnies—whose actions and comments are intended to further clarify the meanings. And they usually do, though the vomiting ticker by “heartsick” misses the boat, and having a lad shout “Holy cuss!” next to “potty mouth” is a yellow-bellied decision. If a few miscast homophones like “back to the drawing board” and “head of lettuce” tiptoe in, there are still lips zipped, buttoned, and sealed; fingers crossed, pointed, butter, light, and worked to the bone; hearts whole, half, soft and hard, black, cold, gold, and more to enrich both spoken and written tongues. Not to mention zombie bunnies biting off heads and picking brains.
Knee-slappers on every page for tenderfoot readers and writers. (index) (Informational picture book. 6-9)