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JIM HEDGEHOG AND THE LONESOME TOWER by Russell Hoban

JIM HEDGEHOG AND THE LONESOME TOWER

By Russell Hoban (Author) , Betsy Lewin (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1992
ISBN: 0-395-59760-9
Publisher: Clarion

Plump little Jim "liked his music loud and he liked it heavy," but he doesn't know how to read music--an inconvenient fact discovered by his mother after Mr. Strange (a stoat) sells them a recorder cheap. Mom gives Jim a succinct lesson in "do re mi" and the staff's lines and spaces ("Fat Alligators Cautiously Eat Grapefruit") despite Jim's punning parries; then the recorder leads Jim to an inn where he gets word of a noisy music-maker in a nearby tower, a fearsome place where he finds "Itsa Thing," a blond singer hung about with chains, lamenting a lost song she didn't know how to write down--a skill Jim can now share. All this is a curious descendant of Hoban's cozily endearing Frances stories. The little badger's songs were surprisingly similar to the lyrics recorded here; and where Frances embodied everyday friendly conflicts, Jim's fixation on heavy metal sometimes seems almost as universal. The story is less earthshaking than the music described, but Hoban is still a master of satirical legerdemain; his wordplay and cleverly interwoven innuendos make a magical music of their own. Lewin's winsome, freely limned hedgehogs are as comical--and nearly as deft--as the drawings of Hoban's sometime British illustrator, Quentin Blake. Far-out, but funny, truly original, and sure to appeal to the right audience. (Fiction. 7-10)