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ZEKE PIPPIN by William Steig Kirkus Star


by William Steig & illustrated by William Steig

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 1994
ISBN: 0-06-205076-1
Publisher: HarperCollins

Zeke Pippin, a pig, happens across a harmonica. After disinfecting the mouth organ with his father's schnapps, he takes to the instrument like a duck to water. But when his nincompoop family dozes off when he serenades them, he flees home on his customized raft. He treats a heron to a tune, and the bird also conks out. Then Zeke turns the lights out on each and every passenger on an excursion boat floating nearby. This is, clearly, a harmonica with a difference. When Zeke's odyssey turns difficult, the instrument comes to his salvation time and again, putting to sleep some would-be robbers and a hungry coyote. Home at last, he gains acclaim as a lullabyist before landing a gig at the local Grange Hall, this time playing a regulation harmonica, not the magical harp. Steig (Dr. De Soto Goes to Africa, 1992, etc.) himself is a bit of magic, his stories nutty, with clever wordplay and drawings that, for all their goofiness, are wonderfully alive. Steig's golden touch shines on. (Fiction/Picture book. 3+)