29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy

( 1 )

Overview


We are very curious about the Swinster Pharmacy. We stay up late every night wondering what sort of eerie secrets it contains. Why are there three Styrofoam heads in the windows? Who is the owner? Is it really closed on weekends? Renowned investigator Lemony Snicket has compiled 29 myths about this bewildering establishment, in the vain hope that he could help us shine some light on this enduring mystery.
Read ...
See more details below
Hardcover
$11.41
BN.com price
(Save 23%)$14.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (16) from $8.32   
  • New (13) from $8.56   
  • Used (3) from $6.64   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview


We are very curious about the Swinster Pharmacy. We stay up late every night wondering what sort of eerie secrets it contains. Why are there three Styrofoam heads in the windows? Who is the owner? Is it really closed on weekends? Renowned investigator Lemony Snicket has compiled 29 myths about this bewildering establishment, in the vain hope that he could help us shine some light on this enduring mystery.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/25/2013
Every town has one: that tchotchke shop/storefront psychic/drugstore that raises questions like “How does that place stay in business?” Snicket and Brown (The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming) examine one such emporium of enigma, the Swinster Pharmacy, its very name almost “sinister.” Two children are fascinated by the store and what it might sell, and their 29 notes and comments comprise the narrative. This isn’t a book about solving a mystery—entering the pharmacy would, after all, basically put the matter to rest. Instead, Snicket and Brown let readers dwell in the gray, desolate weirdness of the downtown (a foldout map of the neighborhood is included). While the book successfully evokes a sense of unease about the store, as well as the way children create mysteries out of the quotidian, the observations are often opaque (“Nothing’s perfect. The Swinster Pharmacy is not perfect. The glow of the moon on the car, there, is not perfect”) or banal (“I was going to write a poem about the Swinster Pharmacy”), making the mystery one that belongs to these two children, not one readers can share in. Ages 7–up. (Feb.)
From the Publisher

"[29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy] provides a clear reason for drawing one’s own conclusions: Observing and recording the results through a personal filter makes a good story." —Kirkus Reviews

"Beneath [29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy] is a lovely allegory about the capacity of children’s imaginations to see enigmatic wonder in even the simplest things and find multiple meanings in the most mundane." —Maria Popova, BrainPickings

"Kids are weird and charming and confusing. They teeter in that fuzzy place between wonder and reality. ?[29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy] is a book that honors this and celebrates that."—Design of the Picture Book

School Library Journal
03/01/2014
Gr 4–8—Innovative in both its style and gloomy dénouement, this picture-book mystery unfolds as an episodic essay of 29 seemingly random observations. It employs both narrative and expository voices as it describes an old-timey downtown pharmacy with "Styrofoam heads wearing wigs" in the window and employees wearing long white coats.The Swinster Pharmacy remains unchanged in what is "usually a quiet town," and this timelessness presents a puzzle that two children investigate tirelessly as they are certain that there is something terribly wrong with this establishment. Careful observers will find clues in the illustrations that supply reasons for the seemingly gratuitous obsessiveness. The story is written in a droll, but authoritative voice reminiscent of pre-1960s journalese, and the art has a flat, understated style that is reminiscent of Marc Simont's work. The two friends are essentially reporters, and their reports read like poetic fragments: "15. The building is a perfect square./We measured it last night," "18. Something about the door is electric as opposed to acoustic./It closes like a hiss,/like the serpent in the Garden of Eden/or a slow, dead tire." This picture book is a wee bit odd in tone, it is true. Nevertheless, it could be used a springboard for readers to develop and solve the implicit whodunit story, or as an opportunity to analyze what constitutes solid evidence versus allusive facts.—Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-18
Young investigators, a girl and boy old enough to ride the city bus alone, offer 29 observations associated with a building in another town. The Swinster Pharmacy seems to be one of those strangely inaccessible businesses engaged in unknown and possibly mysterious activities. A cat closely resembling the cat on the "Lost" flyer posted near the Swinster Pharmacy slips among the scenes. There's an implication of nonspecific sinister happenings: Much is unexplained and slightly surreal (and the richer for it). From the title ("29 Myths on…"), Snicket channels the slightly awkward, odd syntax of children. Some of the sleuths' 29 numbered statements are a little spooky—"Dogs bark at it all the time"—while some are slyly funny: "I was going to write a poem about the Swinster Pharmacy." A sign in the window declares "Included." Brown's simple, cartoon-style artwork against a dark background is just right: It's direct and not overly edgy; her characters are distinctive and expressive. A simple map offers a geographic context for the travels of the sleuthing duo; a glimpse of the basement appears on the cover. The compelling, unexplained goings-on at the Swinster Pharmacy could turn out to be evil or benign or something completely other—readers are never told. For all its enigmatic nature, the tale provides a clear reason for drawing one's own conclusions: Observing and recording the results through a personal filter makes a good story. (Picture book. 5-8)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781938073786
  • Publisher: McSweeney's Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/11/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 127,710
  • Age range: 7 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Lemony Snicket

Lemony Snicket frequently stays up late, worrying about some of his books, including When Did You See Her Last? and The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, which was also illustrated by Lisa Brown. Lisa Brown has been known to stay up even later than Lemony Snicket, which is why she is associated with such books as Vampire Boy’s Good Night, Picture The Dead, and other books that leave dark circles around her eyes.
Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      In some parts, people get to know him through his handler, Daniel Handler.
    2. Hometown:
      Snicket is something of a nomad. Handler lives in San Francisco, California.
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 28, 1970
    2. Place of Birth:
      Handler was born in San Francisco in 1970, and says Snicket's family has roots in a land that's now underwater.
    1. Education:
      Handler is a 1992 graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)