Elvis Lives! and Other Anagrams

Overview

A clever cartoonist explores the rearrangement of letters

Jon Agee is no stranger to wordplay. Three previous collections of palindromes bear his name, so it was only a matter of time before he departed from merely reading backward and forward. Now he has taken words and phrases and tossed their letters in the air, and when they land, their new formations are often uncannily related to the originals - or at least they are after Agee is done ...
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Overview

A clever cartoonist explores the rearrangement of letters

Jon Agee is no stranger to wordplay. Three previous collections of palindromes bear his name, so it was only a matter of time before he departed from merely reading backward and forward. Now he has taken words and phrases and tossed their letters in the air, and when they land, their new formations are often uncannily related to the originals - or at least they are after Agee is done with them. From the simple (poetry/try poe) to the slightly more complex (halitosis/lois has it) to the sublimely ridiculous (the best things in life are free/nail-biting refreshes the feet), Agee manages to make perfect sense out of these anagrams and many more by pairing them with his deftly funny pictures.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"With characteristic glee, oxymoron and palindrome fiend Agee here presents a set of anagrams-and pumps up the humor with pen-and-ink cartoons," PW said. Ages 6-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With characteristic glee, oxymoron and palindrome fiend Agee (Who Ordered the Jumbo Shrimp?; Sit on a Potato Pan, Otis!) here presents a set of anagrams--some of them borrowed from other wordplay enthusiasts. In this latest effort to unravel and reconstitute language, he demonstrates how letters can be rearranged to produce new meanings and pumps up the humor with pen-and-ink cartoons. Four sequential opening pages follow a fellow with a recognizable pompadour and polyester suit as he emerges from a manhole, proceeds to a billboard reading "Elvis" and shuffles the word to spell "Lives." (He reappears on the closing page, posing on a billboard for "Levi's.") In the single-page images that follow, "astronomer" converts to "moonstarer," and a pig pronounces a "dormitory" chamber a "dirty room." A spread of serpentine freeways that would inspire claustrophobia in Mario Andretti accompanies "Southern California" as "hot sun, or life in a car." In each case, Agee wittily unifies the dual results with his illustrations. For sophisticates, a sketch of an artist's studio shows "Piet Mondrian" pausing in his work to say, "I paint modern." And for fans who've noted the artist's penchant for depicting inmates, he offers a double entendre with a picture of prisoners painting vertical lines in their cell: "Stripes/persist." Agee--who must be one heck of a Scrabble player by now--creates a sketchbook of sorts that exposes words' hidden secrets. Ages 6-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
If Elvis were alive today, he would have died laughing reading this book. Agee has gathered together a wonderful collection of anagrams using different people, places and situations. "Ulysses S. Grant," to "Try Sunglasses," and "School Cafeteria," to "Hot Cereal Disaster," are just a couple of the fun anagrams appearing in this collection. If you are someone who enjoys word play, this latest in the collection of Jon Agee's creations is a must. Anagrams are a fun and useful activity in the classroom for learning words and spelling. While this is an amusing book, there is no real explanation of what an anagram is or how to try and create them, and therefore is only useful in the classroom when used in conjunction with other materials. Also, some of the anagrams are a bit of a stretch, such as "Astronomer," to "Moon Starer." Overall, this is a delightful book but should be used with care in the classroom or with young readers. 2000, Farrar Straus Giroux, Ages 7 up, $15.00. Reviewer: John D. Orsborn
From The Critics
Highlighted by many examples, this book is an excellent explanation of anagrams (a word or phrase formed by transposing the letters of another word or phrase). Hilarious black and white illustrations are paired with over sixty in the greatest anagrams of the English language. Fun word play will encourage creative thinking. 2000, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc., $15.00. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: N. Robertson SOURCE: Parent Council Volume 8
From the Publisher
"Be prepared for a little giggling in the library when readers discover Agee's collection . . . The black-and-white cartoons are an integral aspect of the humor . . . Charming, well executed, and fun."— Starred, School Library Journal

"In this latest effort to unravel and reconstitute languages, [Agee] demonstrates how letters can be rearranged to produce new meanings and pumps up the humor with pen-and-ink cartoons . . . Agee — who must be one heck of a Scrabble player by now — creates a sketchbook of sorts that exposes words' hidden secrets."— Publishers Weekly

"In the olympics of verbal gymnastics, Agee takes the gold."-Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374321277
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/11/2000
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 80
  • Age range: 11 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Agee's collections of palindromes include So Many Dynamos! and Palindromania!, both IRA-CBC Children's Choices, Go Hang a Salami! I'm a Lasagna Hog!, and Sit on a Potato Pan, Otis! He lives in San Francisco, California.

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