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A Collection of Irresistible Idioms and Illustrations to Tickle the Funny Bones of Young People

by Will Moses & illustrated by Will Moses

Age Range: 4 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-399-24233-5
Publisher: Philomel

“Operating on a shoestring,” opening up “a can of worms” and having a “wolf at the door” are just some of the sticky situations defined and illustrated in this entertaining and informative collection of idioms. Moses treats readers to his playful, folk-art mini-paintings, which demonstrate each figure of speech. Some of the illustrated idioms, such as “feeling blue,” “look alive” and “ten-foot pole,” fall a little flat, but others, such as “egg on his face,” “butterflies in the stomach” and “something is fishy,” are deliciously silly. Below each phrase is the straight definition and then a sentence using the idiom correctly; the juxtaposition of pictorially literal but verbally figurative is where the humor lies. So to illuminate “something is fishy,” a sneaky-looking masked cat slinks away from a tank at the aquarium with a fish in his net: “Elmer, the night watchman, felt like something was fishy at the aquarium; he never suspected a cat burglar.” Appropriate for both children and adults, but probably most compelling for children just learning how to play with language. (Informational picture book. 4 & up)