Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch

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Overview


Here is an imaginative tale about the unconventional fifteenth-century Flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch, as told by his wildly dissatisfied housekeeper. Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillon and their son, Lee, depict a most unusual household filled with pickle-winged fish, flying furniture, and other bizarre delights. “From its sumptuous paintings to its gilt frames to its quixotic verse, everything about this exquisitely produced tour de ...
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Overview


Here is an imaginative tale about the unconventional fifteenth-century Flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch, as told by his wildly dissatisfied housekeeper. Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillon and their son, Lee, depict a most unusual household filled with pickle-winged fish, flying furniture, and other bizarre delights. “From its sumptuous paintings to its gilt frames to its quixotic verse, everything about this exquisitely produced tour de force bespeaks wit and elegance.”--Publishers Weekly

The weird creatures which inhabit a medieval painter's home drive his housekeeper away, until a change of heart sends her back to the beasts and to Bosch in a new and loving relationship.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The fascination of Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516) with bizarre imaginary beings is the springboard for a chimerical vision--elegantly realized in this resplendent work. In Willard's playful poem, the artist's housekeeper is vexed to the utmost by such distractions as ``a beehive in boots and a pear-headed priest / who call monkeys to order and lizards to feast,'' but ultimately ac- cepts that her lot--and, her expressions suggest, her affections--lies with Bosch and his menagerie, however maddening. Once again, the Dillons have tailored their style to perfectly suit--and here, lend waggish twists to--their subject. Rendered in the opulent tones and peculiar, wild spirit of Bosch's works, their parade of fantastical creatures would make the master proud: animate cucumbers, an armor-plated, two-headed dragon, a flying fish with wings of pickles. Each exquisite painting is contained within a meticulously designed, sculpted gilt frame that produces a three-dimensional effect and adds to the immediacy and power of the surreal tableaux. The book's design is further enhanced by the calligraphic text, rich ivory stock and splendidly ornamented sepia endpapers. This eccentric work may not be for youngest children, but anyone with unusual vision and an affinity for the quirkiest corners of the imagination will find it a source of endless fascination. All ages. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-- One needn't know Bosch's paintings of nightmarish otherworlds to be intrigued by the fantastic cast of characters Willard describes and the Dillons depict--although this visual parody is even more delightful to those familiar with the artist's work. The painter's housekeeper complains of the extreme frustration produced by the hordes of weird creatures that keep her from her proper duties, and she leaves. But she's followed by the lot who clamor for her loving attention , and she returns resigned to an active life with those who need her. Willard's verse has a Seuss-like dash to it, most frequently rhymed couplets with unusual words and even odder references to things such as a ``pickle-winged fish.'' All the words are hand-lettered in an unlikely mixture of upper- and lower-case letters in the same tones of warm brown used to create vignettes on the pages facing the full color scenes. And such illustrations they are! The Dillons' son has cast four winged beasties and intergrated them onto a gilt wood frame with a softly arched top. Inside the artists have painted scenes in the spirit of the 15th-century genius but in a more modern, post-Renaissance fashion. The setting and humans are realistically portrayed in period dress, the artist as a bit of a crackpot and his housekeeper as a young woman fed up with his madness. It's the ``beehive in boots'' and ``three-legged thistles'' that infest all parts of these scenes that are based on characters from Bosch's vision of hell. Only now the effect is comic rather than frightening. Once again the artists show their virtuosity, their ability to don the robes of another artistic period or place, and yet play the play in their own fashion. --Kenneth Marantz, Art Education Department, Ohio State University, Columbus
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152622107
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/1/1991
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.40 (w) x 12.30 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author


LEO and DIANE DILLON together illustrated more than twenty-five acclaimed and award-winning books for children, including the Caldecott Medal winner Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aardema, a retelling of the opera Aida by Leontyne Price, and their own Mother Goose Numbers on the Loose.
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2001

    A Story of Earthly Delights

    This wonderfully illustrated children's book brings the world of Hieronymus Bosch to life, while teaching readers of all ages that what we love about someone is often what we think is most frustrating. The illustrations are great, the story is gently humorous, and the book can be an early introduction into Western art movements.

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