M IS FOR MISCHIEF: An A to Z of Naughty Children

Overview

Clever cautionary poems, raucously illustrated, about 26 children you'd rather read about than meet.

Here are twenty-six brats you'd never want to babysit: Catastrophic Coco, Gluttonous Griffin, Impolite Irma, and Quarrelsome Quincy, just to name a few. Linda Ashman's perfectly crafted ditties about kids from Angry Abby, who is 'apt to argue at any time and any place,' to Zany Zelda, who 'zigs and zags through all the rooms,' are paired with hilariously energetic digital ...

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Overview

Clever cautionary poems, raucously illustrated, about 26 children you'd rather read about than meet.

Here are twenty-six brats you'd never want to babysit: Catastrophic Coco, Gluttonous Griffin, Impolite Irma, and Quarrelsome Quincy, just to name a few. Linda Ashman's perfectly crafted ditties about kids from Angry Abby, who is 'apt to argue at any time and any place,' to Zany Zelda, who 'zigs and zags through all the rooms,' are paired with hilariously energetic digital collages by Nancy Carpenter. Kids will relish the chaos these naughty tykes create-and also the comeuppance many of them justly receive.

Wickedly witty wordplay and fiendishly fresh artwork make this a standout in the field of alphabet books.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Carpenter, who made such a splash with her photograph-enhanced drawings in 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore, flexes her rascally aesthetic even more in this abecedary of bad behavior, and once again she produces a perfect visual expression of the collision of a testy temperament with polite society. When Offensive Oscar refuses to wash ("Yesterday's oatmeal still clings to his skin"), the pen-and-ink anti-hero is proffered what looks like a real bar of soap plus scrub brush from a real pair of hands; on the opposite page, a photo-collaged pair of splayed legs belonging to "Grandmother" adds comic verisimilitude to the claim that "One sniff of his odor and others pass out." Ashman's (Babies on the Go) poetic portraits are packed with lots of tasty assonance and alliteration ("Coco came to camp:/ Cracked a compass, smacked a lamp,/ Clogged a drain, cut a tarp./ Clobbered Curtis with a carp"), and although they tend to adopt a tone that's more tut-tut than arch, their mock-serious mood serves as a fine foil to the visual ruckus. Ages 6-up. (July)

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Kirkus Reviews
The illustrator of Jenny Offill's 17 Things I'm Not Allowed To Do Anymore (2007) builds on a clear knack for depicting deceptively fresh-faced children with this extended alliterative gallery of malfeasants. From Angry Abby ("Abby's apt to argue anytime and anyplace. / She'll argue over apricots, an acorn, or an ace . . . ") to hyperactive Zany Zelda, young folk act out in a broad range of ways-and often come to bad ends in consequence. Tantrum-prone Vile Vern, for instance, "Aimed his venom at a snake. / Vexed the viper. / Vern's mistake." Carpenter's mixed-media illustrations are positively inspired: Blustering Buster, certain he can fly, leaps off the barn with wings made out of blue first-place ribbons; Mischievous Martin races his shopping cart directly toward the reader, mouth open in an almost audible yell, spilling photographic watermelons as he goes. Picking up where the many descendants of Struwwelpeter leave off, these character portraits aren't likely to change anyone's behavior set, but they'll certainly elicit nods of recognition, even from younger children. (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525475644
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/3/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 671,652
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Ashman is the author of many popular picture books, including Babies on the Go, illustrated by Jane Dyer. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

Nancy Carpenter, one of the most versatile and inventive picture book illustrators working today, lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    M is for Mischief

    Ashman, L. (2008). M is for Mischief: An A to Z of Naughty Children. New York:
    Dutton Children's Books.

    9780525475644


    As the title implies, this alphabet picturebook features 26 misbehaving baddies. The rhyming and playful nature of the poems lend a person (read: me) to imagine he or she is the narrator on the show Gossip Girl, reporting what bad deeds Chuck Bass has done this week.

    While all of the poems feature alliteration of that page's particular letter, not all of the poems include poetic justice. I personally found this less than ideal. "Let them have it," I thinks.

    The illustrations are fun and interesting-a mix of colorful sketches and photographs.


    Activities to do with the book:

    Students could come up with the own poems of children behaving badly. They could also turn the poems into skits and have a classmate narrate the poems.


    Favorite Quotes:

    "Abby's apt to argue anytime and anyplace.
    She'll argue over apricots, an acorn, or an ace.
    She'll argue with an astronaut, an artist, or a waiter.
    A shame she had to argue with that awful alligator."


    "It's quirky how Quincy is so quick to fight.
    He quarrels with all, convinced he is right.
    He quibbles with teachers, then quacks, "How absurd!"
    He quizzes his classmates, then mocks every word.

    When warned of the quicksand, he questions the scout.
    He might quarrel less...if he's ever pulled out."

    For more of my reviews visit sjkessel.blogspot.com.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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