POTCH & POLLY by William Steig


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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Agee (Milo’s Hat Trick, 2001, etc.) illustrates this comic take on the course of true love never running smooth with clownish flair. Short, jolly Potch meets beanpole Polly Pumpernickel at a costume ball and falls head over heels. So does Polly, when he accidentally tosses her into a fountain. Potch’s hilariously clumsy efforts to patch things up only annoy Polly more until she hears his guardian angel (who comes complete with an orange wig and bulb nose) advising him to give it up, as “ ‘Polly Pumpernickel will never understand your kind of love.’ ” Shortly thereafter, Potch receives a large gift box, out of which spins Polly. “Somewhere music started playing,” and the two are last seen dancing off to a presumably blissful future. Steig’s (Which Would You Rather Be?, p. 668, etc.) extravagant prose—“Polly thought Potch might be the daffy darling of her daily dreams. The one missing piece of her pie”—gives the essentially adult tale the air of a sophisticated valentine, but perceptive younger readers will also catch the tenderness underlying this rocky, slapstick romance. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 2002
ISBN: 0-374-36090-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2002


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