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By the Side of the Road

Overview

Richard won't stop fooling around in the backseat of the car, despite his father's warning that he's going to pull over by the side of the road and let Richard out in the middle of nowhere unless he behaves.

But Richard doesn't learn. After an hour by the side of the road, he decides it's not such a bad place. So that's where he takes up residence, first in a small house, and then, as the months and years go by, in a network of underground hideaways, all by the side of the road....

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Jules Feiffer NY 2002 Hardcover 1st Edition New in New jacket Book. 12mo-over 6?-7?" tall. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition (1st printing).

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Overview

Richard won't stop fooling around in the backseat of the car, despite his father's warning that he's going to pull over by the side of the road and let Richard out in the middle of nowhere unless he behaves.

But Richard doesn't learn. After an hour by the side of the road, he decides it's not such a bad place. So that's where he takes up residence, first in a small house, and then, as the months and years go by, in a network of underground hideaways, all by the side of the road. And it is here that Richard grows into manhood, marriage, and fatherhood -- with his parents moving in as baby-sitters -- still by the side of the road.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Instead of running away from home, home runs away from Richard when he continues to misbehave in the backseat of the car. As punishment, Richard is abandoned by the side of the road until his parents return three hours later. During that time, Richard decides he likes it there. At least no one tells him what to do. He tells his father he'd like to wait there some more. When his father returns a second time, Richard is ready to go home¾until his father asks him if he's learned his lesson yet. Richard has, but the way his father asks makes him unlearn the lesson he is in the middle of learning. Both parents attempt to retrieve Richard but just end up quarrelling. The quarrel ends when Richard announces he's spending the night and they had better go home. Then and there, he decides to live by the side of the road, becoming somewhat of a local celebrity. By now he has devised a small network of tunnels where he stores items he finds near the road and some necessities provided by his parents. Two-thirds of the way through the book Daisy appears to a 17-year-old Richard. Daisy moves into the tunnel next to his. He means to kick her out, but doesn't. What occurs next could be something out of a futuristic or science fiction film. Below the cluttered city skyline and traffic lays Rudy's (Richard's brother) state-of-the-art tunnel, contrasted with the simplicity of Richard's family tunnel. It seems his parents have forgiven Richard for misbehaving in the car, as they now live in Richard's tunnel system. A nice escape that might not be such a bad idea! As a parent I am abhorred that anyone could leave his or her child unattended anywhere. Hopefully no one will get any ideas! I believe the intent ofthis work is to simplify as much as possible, as a Thoreau-style for the 21st century. A great discussion starter about discipline, stubborn children, and freedoms. This can certainly be enjoyed by those older than 12-years-old. The black and white illustrations force us to color the story as we go along. Although there isn't much light underground, it seems quite symbolic to present this book in black and white. 2002, Michael Di Capua Books/Hyperion Books for Children,
— Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-"`If you don't behave,' my father said, `I'm gonna pull over right here, and you can wait by the side of the road-.'" Richard, who had been roughhousing with his brother in the backseat, chooses the road. Dad, Mom, and Rudy check back several times to see if the boy has learned his lesson, but he "unlearns" it with each new confrontation with authority. Hours turn into days, then years, and although the scenes are created in black and white, the characterizations and issues certainly aren't. A seemingly abusive father mellows with time, at first arriving with aluminum siding (the resulting house is placed in a sophisticated labyrinth of underground tunnels), later moving in "next door." He plays cards with his grandchildren, and, along with Mom, rides in Richard's backseat to visit Rudy-in his "more state-of-the-art tunnel in Seattle." Graduates of James Stevenson's Are We Almost There? (Greenwillow, 1985) will be interested in following the adventures of a boy who stands his ground-or, more precisely, digs it up. The book's smallish size, horizontal orientation, and rectangular scenes bordered in white create a comic-strip look, perfect for the audience. Feiffer's relaxed, sketchy style and understated language provide a foil to the complexity of his story, yielding smiles of surprise and satisfaction.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786809080
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 5/1/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 9 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.87 (w) x 7.25 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jules Feiffer is an acclaimed American editorial cartoonist, playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. Born in the Bronx in 1929, he cultivated his craft at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He ran a Pulitzer prize winning comic strip column in the Village Voice for nearly 42 years. He has also written 26 children's books, several of them award winning. In 2004, he was inducted into the comic book hall of fame.

Biography

Born the Bronx in 1929, Jules Feiffer got his first taste of the artistic accolades that were to come his way in the form of a gold medal awarded to him at the age of five in a school art contest. His love of art persisted throughout his childhood -- and after forging a career as a Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist, he would find success writing and illustrating books for children himself.

After high school, Feiffer’s talent for drawing led him to the Art Students League of New York and later earned him admittance to Brooklyn’s renowned Pratt Institute. His first paying job as a cartoonist was under the tutelage of idol Will Eisner, the famous father of the classic 1940s cartoon, “The Spirit.” Feiffer’s apprenticeship and fledgling comic strip career were interrupted, however, when he was drafted into the Army. There, he spent what little free time he was allowed doodling sketches with a decidedly anti-military bent, and his famous “Munro” character -- a four-year-old boy drafted into the Army by mistake -- was born.

After serving his time in the Army, Feiffer developed the comic strip Sick, Sick, Sick: A Guide to Non-confident Munro, which was later renamed, simply, Feiffer. The strip appeared regularly in publications from The Village Voice to The New York Times from 1956 to 1997, and Feiffer’s trademark style -- stark, scribbled figures emoting against a white background -- was promptly adopted by political cartoonists around the world. In April of 1958, an animated rendition of Sick, Sick, Sick won an Academy Award in the Short-Subject Cartoon category, and in 1996, Feiffer was awarded the Pulitzer for his biting editorial cartoons.

Feiffer's knack for capturing the turmoil of his times carried over from cartoons into other media. His play Little Murders -- a wry exploration of violence in urban life -- garnered several accolades when it was presented in 1967, among them the London Theatre Critics, Outer Circle Critics and Obie Awards. As New York Times theater reviewer Clive Barnes commented, "[Feiffer] muses on urban man, the cesspool of urban man's mind, the beauty of his neurosis, and the inevitability of his wilting disappointment." Feiffer's other plays include White House Murder Case (1970) and Anthony Rose (1990). In addition, Feiffer wrote the screenplays for several feature films, most notably Carnal Knowledge (1971) and Popeye (1980).

Feiffer’s motivation to write his first children’s book, according to legend, came from good old-fashioned spite. The story goes that a longtime friend of Feiffer's (who he won’t name) came up with a concept for a children's book based on their shared love of the movies. Feiffer agreed to hand over the illustrating duties to his friend and give writing it a shot, and toughed out every line. When he called the friend to report on his progress, Feiffer found out -- to his fury -- that his friend had decided to write it himself. Although his friend later apologized, Feiffer decided that in the end, they should each do their own books. He changed the subject of his work in progress from the movies to comic books, and The Man in the Ceiling -- a semi-autobiographical tale bout a boy and his love for drawing -- was born.

Selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best children's books of 1993, the book was a runaway hit with kids and parents. Feiffer continued writing for his new, less jaded audience, offering up A Barrel of Laughs, A Vale of Tears (1998), I Lost My Bear (1998), Meanwhile… (1999), Bark, George (1999), I’m Not Bobby!, (2000) By the Side of the Road (2001), and The House Across the Street (2002). Far from the stark stencils that are his political cartoons, his children’s illustrations wriggle with life, their curvier lines in no way softening the lessons within.

Good To Know

Feiffer is the only cartoonist to have a comic strip published by The New York Times.

A fan of comic strips from an early age, Feiffer started to draw at the age of six. His favorites were Flash Gordon, Popeye, and Terry and the Pirates.

Feiffer didn't want Jack Nicholson cast for the lead in the 1971 film Carnal Knowledge, for which he wrote the screenplay. Director Mike Nichols fought Feiffer on the casting and finally convinced him to approve the up-and-coming actor.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 26, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      The Pratt Institute, 1951

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