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CREAMED TUNA FISH & PEAS ON TOAST by Philip C. Stead

CREAMED TUNA FISH & PEAS ON TOAST

By Philip C. Stead (Author) , Philip C. Stead (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59643-401-1
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Wild Man Jack hates one dish the most, and who can blame him? Creamed tuna fish with peas on toast would turn anyone’s stomach. Wild Man Jack’s children approach him one by one, asking what he’ll do if Mama Jane makes it, and he vows to “wheeze,” “sneeze” and even “brandish a spoon.” Stead conjures early-20th-century America in his language, characters and illustrations. Wild Man Jack, a lean, flinty Woody Guthrie–looking character, seems straight out of the Dust Bowl. Children will savor his venomous rants, as they don’t see many adults misbehaving in picture books these days. They will also enjoy spying old newspaper clippings, music scores and letters hiding behind layers of paint and ink drawings. The collages cohere into a sunny patchwork of art and history. He integrates the past into every facet of his storytelling, even hand lettering each word with salvaged rubber letterpress sets. This homage to Americana finds success looking backward, proudly reclaiming the rhythms of old stories and craftsmanship not so common in the digital age. (Picture book. 3-9)