Poof!

Overview

Here is a picture book that could only come from the wacky imagination of John O'Brien. Imagine a wizard and his wife who love to spend the day lounging in their easy chairs. These two will do anything to avoid ordinary household chores. To change the baby's diaper, the wizard waves his wand and--POOF!--he unleashes a chain of events that leads to laughter on every page. This is John O'Brien at his funniest.

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Overview

Here is a picture book that could only come from the wacky imagination of John O'Brien. Imagine a wizard and his wife who love to spend the day lounging in their easy chairs. These two will do anything to avoid ordinary household chores. To change the baby's diaper, the wizard waves his wand and--POOF!--he unleashes a chain of events that leads to laughter on every page. This is John O'Brien at his funniest.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two wizard spouses practice one-upsmanship in this brief, very polite war of magic wands. The quarrel starts with both relaxing on either side of a baby's crib, wearing the starry robes and peaked caps of their trade. " `It's your turn to change the baby,' said the wizard's wife. `Yes, my dear,' said the wizard with a wave of his wand. `But...' Poof! `It's your turn to feed the cat.' " When the pale-orange smoke clears, the baby is indeed changed--a pie-eyed brown cat has taken its place. Mrs. Wizard calmly agrees that the cat is her responsibility, but adds, "If you recall, you're supposed to walk the dog." In another explosive "Poof!," a white dog appears where the cat (i.e., the baby) had been. The wizards continue their evenly matched contest by transforming the weather, their house and finally themselves. O'Brien (The Bookworm's Feast) illustrates the hocus-pocus with swooping, tempestuous pen-and-ink drawings and pointillistic, shimmery dots of watercolor. His determined characters vie for absurd comebacks and call out treacly nicknames like "lovey-poo" and "my precious" throughout their competition, parodying a typical marital spat. Parental bickering may not be the best stuff of comedy, but the antagonists do arrive at a workable family solution: with a final poof, they and their child turn into ducks and live "quackily ever after." Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
"Two wizard spouses practice one-upsmanship in this brief, very polite war of magic wands," PW said. "The hocus-pocus comes to life with swooping, tempestuous pen-and-ink drawings and pointillistic, shimmery dots of watercolor." Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Heidi Green
Two lazy wizards are sleeping in their chairs when their baby wakes them. Trying to get out of changing the baby's diaper, the husband wizard turns their child into a cat. It is, he says, the wife wizard's turn to feed the cat. Determined not to do any work, she turns the cat into a dog and declares that it is his turn to walk the dog. So it goes, with both wizards equally determined not to lose the struggle and each turn creating a more outlandish situation than the one before. John O'Brien's bold illustrations are a perfect match for his wildly imaginative text. This book should inspire a lot of giggles--not only from child readers, but also from their parents.
Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A great read-aloud. A sleepy wizard and his wife display unique problem-solving skills in this uproarious yarn. They are awakened from their naps by their crying infant. Since it is the wizard's turn to change the baby, he quickly waves his magic wand and POOF! the baby turns into a cat. It is the wife's turn to feed the cat, but POOF! she transforms it into a dog. It is the wizard's turn to walk the dog. And so on. The plot becomes more and more absurd until its surprise conclusion in which the parents and baby are happily reunited as ducks to live "quackily" ever after. The couple refer to each other in increasingly sarcastic terms of endearment, such as "honeybunch" and "lovey-poo," intensifying the fun. Large cartoon artwork augments the humor. Both parents wear appropriate wizardly attire: star-and-moon encrusted robes and long, pointy hats. All of the characters have large black eyes, subtly reminding readers that this is one family going through many transformations. Each POOF! is given its own page, magically displayed on a colorful cloud bursting with stars. Storytime attendees will love joining in on cue with every turn of events. Sheer magic for all children who like humorous wizardry.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563978159
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 310L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

John O'Brien has illustrated more than ninety books. His cartoons appear in The New Yorker and other publications. He is the only banjo- and concertina-playing children's book illustrator who is also senior lieutenant in the North Wildwood, New Jersey, Beach Patrol. He lives in Delran, New Jersey.

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