Daddy Mountain

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Overview

Before your very eyes, this little redhead is about to do something extremely daring. And scary. And she'll show you-she'll actually document, step-by-step-exactly how she does it. First, she takes her Daddy and makes him stand very still. Then, balancing herself on his shoe, she wraps her arms tightly around a leg and starts her perilous ascent to the summit. Thrills and chills, guaranteed. LOOK OUT BELOW!! JULES FEIFFER has won a number of prizes for his cartoons, plays, and screenplays, including the Pulitzer ...

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Overview

Before your very eyes, this little redhead is about to do something extremely daring. And scary. And she'll show you-she'll actually document, step-by-step-exactly how she does it. First, she takes her Daddy and makes him stand very still. Then, balancing herself on his shoe, she wraps her arms tightly around a leg and starts her perilous ascent to the summit. Thrills and chills, guaranteed. LOOK OUT BELOW!! JULES FEIFFER has won a number of prizes for his cartoons, plays, and screenplays, including the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. His books for children include The House Across the Street; By the Side of the Road; I'm Not Bobby; I Lost My Bear; and Meanwhile..He lives in New York City.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Acclaimed author Jules Feiffer delivers this mountain of a picture book about a red-haired girl who sets out to scale her dad. Combining his familiar pen-and-watercolor style with charcoal, Feiffer takes the girl up "Daddy Mountain," a harrowing journey that begins at her pop's feet as she declares, "Watch me. I'm getting ready to climb the Daddy Mountain. It's very high. But first I need something to drink." While readers see only parts of the mammoth dad from page to page, the young mountaineer dramatically describes her ascent at each step, declaring at one point that "I pull myself up with both hands. I'm halfway! Don't look down" -- and later, "So I'm kind of sitting on his shoulder like it's a chair. Very carefully, I start to stand up. This is where I don't want to think too much." Finally, though, the girl reaches the peak after a long haul, with a triumphant cheer -- marked with a vertical fold-out of her sitting atop her dad's head -- while Mom covers her eyes in disbelief. Readers will sit in suspense as the book moves along page by page, enjoying the simple text and Feiffer's portrayal of the girl's myriad emotions as the tension builds. Dads will especially like sharing The Daddy Mountain with their youngsters, and it makes a charming companion to other father-themed books like Todd Parr's The Daddy Book. For "thrills and chills, guaranteed" as specified on the book's flap, this treat is the peak of fun times. Shana Taylor
From The Critics
Should you dare to accept this mission-trekking up the legs, torso, and shoulders of one remarkably patient Daddy Mountain -- you will surely laugh. Join Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Feiffer as he charts a plucky redhead's playful climb up her father's body. Narrating her ascent with hilarious melodrama, the little girl triumphs over her fear, eventually perching atop her dad's head. (Ages 2 to 4)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2004
Publishers Weekly
Parents who enjoy interactive play should select this book, in which a child scales a stoical "Daddy Mountain." Each page focuses on the red-haired knee-high girl who tells the story. The father, drawn in a nubbly, granite-like charcoal that contrasts with the watercolor-and-ink sketches of his small daughter, is too tall to fit on a page; readers see only his legs and torso as the child makes her steep ascent. The girl fortifies herself before beginning ("Fruit juice gives me energy"), then hauls herself up a pants-leg ("It's harder than you think"). The father's knees obligingly bend to give the mountaineer a rest until she can grip his belt, but otherwise he offers no assistance. Giving instructions to the audience as she goes, the girl reaches his button-down shirt: "If you grab hold of his skin, he'll get mad." Using a shoulder and ear, she drags herself to the summit and calls her mother to "Come quick!" At the terrific conclusion, a vertical gatefold opens up to picture the gray Daddy Mountain transformed into a grinning full-color person (with a girl on his head). After several darker-themed but equally satisfying books like The House Across the Street and I'm Not Bobby!, Feiffer breaks for some lighthearted, affectionate fare. He writes and draws from the girl's point of view, emphasizing the relative sizes of child and parent. He makes a plaything of the adult, who silently endures all manner of humiliation during this game. Youngsters will want to try this sport at home. Ages 2-up. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Even before the title page the little red haired girl peeks up from the bottom of the page. She is getting ready to climb the "Daddy Mountain." After a drink of fruit juice to give her energy, she bravely approaches the mountain's feet. Carefully she begins to climb and, as she goes higher and higher, gives instructions for climbing a Daddy Mountain. "Remember, the Daddy Mountain must wear a shirt. Because if you grab hold of his skin, he'll get mad." It is an amazing feat to reach the top. When the red haired girl climbs on top of the head of the Daddy Mountain, she calls to her mother to share in her success. Mother's reaction is perfect. Feiffer captures the exuberance and imagination of a young child in a highly entertaining story. From the little girl's perspective daddy is strong, steady and rock-solid. Underlying all is the strong bond between father and daughter. This is well executed, right down to the arm shadows where she is slipping. There is a page fold that opens up to reveal the little girl on top of her father's head. Because this can tear easily, it will be a problem for public libraries. However, it is a great title for a Father's Day story hour and a wonderful addition to the story hour collection or home library. 2004, Michael Di Capua Books/ Hyperion, Ages 4 to 7.
—Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
PreS-Beginning at his toes, a little girl laboriously climbs up her father until she is perched triumphantly on top of his head. Along the way, she provides practical advice on making this a successful procedure: "Remember, the Daddy Mountain must wear a shirt. Because if you grab hold of his skin, he'll get mad." Although Feiffer keeps a reasonable amount of suspense going during this combination ordeal/adventure, there is little substance to inspire rereading and little appeal for youngsters who have outgrown attempting this feat. What story there is descends into stereotypes: when the child reaches her goal (as shown on a two-page vertical foldout), her father nonchalantly declares, "No problem, she's fine," and seems proud of his daughter's accomplishment, while her mother's reaction is to faint. The illustrations are vintage Feiffer; for most of the book, Daddy's body is drawn-mountain still-in charcoal, while the girl is depicted with much more fluid black lines and bright colors. While the pictures capture the full range of her emotions, they do not elevate the title to anything other than an additional purchase.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Another crowd-pleaser from Feiffer, this one featuring a surprisingly (for him) non-neurotic child who takes on a tricky challenge: climbing her standing father. Freely changing relative sizes to make the task seem all the more forbidding, Feiffer depicts her in bright oranges, greens, and flesh tones against monochrome paternal segments. Radiating determination, she negotiates ankles, knees, belt, shirt, and shoulder in succession until, in a climactic scene that folds up and bursts out in full color, she perches exuberantly atop the head of her heroically proportioned papa. Mama may cover her eyes in horror on the final page, but children will share the young mountaineer's triumph-and is that a layer of metaphor lurking beneath? Surely not. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786809127
  • Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: 380L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.56 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Jules Feiffer
Beloved children’s book author Jules Feiffer didn’t start out with kid-friendly fare. After first gaining notoriety -- and a Pulitzer Prize -- for his stark, darkly comic political cartoons, he redrew himself as the creator of such charming kids’ tales as I’m Not Bobby! and The House Across the Street.

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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2004

    Children will love this story

    Feiffer's illustrations dominate The Daddy Mountain in which charcoal sketches of Daddy are juxtaposed with a watercolor image of a little girl with bright red hair, who attempts to ascend the daunting height of her father's body. The climb begins at his loafered feet after the child announces,'it's very high.' Slowly she makes her way up a very patient Dad's leg and torso precariously clinging bravely, until triumphantly reaching the summit. There is a fold over, vertical page in full color displaying a daughter perched upon Dad's head. Both father and child have matching ear to ear grins. The fold over page may not last long in libraries so plan on using plenty of mending tape because this book will circulate in both elementary school libraries and public libraries. It is a great choice for storytime. The illustrations alone are worth the price.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2004

    A grown-up book masquerading as a children's book

    Jules Feiffer is fun - for adults. And as he's done in almost all of his books for children, Feiffer has dished out yet another children-patronizing tale that is directed at parents and children's books collectors. Unfortunately, as I've experienced with most of his books this far, my first and second graders found this book 'boring', and 'and then what happens' at the end of the book. Perhaps Feiffer's marketing team should change their target audience to those trying to recapture their childhood instead of talking down to our kids who are actually experiencing childhood.

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