The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine, or The Hithering Thithering Djinn

The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine, or The Hithering Thithering Djinn

by Donald Barthelme
     
 

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One morning in 1887, Mathilda went out into the back yard and discovered that a mysterious Chinese house had planted itself there overnight. She had wanted a fire engine, but the mysterious Chinese house was intriguing too. From inside came strange sounds: growls, howls, whispering, trumpeting.

Plucky Mathilda walks right in. She finds all sorts of peculiar

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Overview

One morning in 1887, Mathilda went out into the back yard and discovered that a mysterious Chinese house had planted itself there overnight. She had wanted a fire engine, but the mysterious Chinese house was intriguing too. From inside came strange sounds: growls, howls, whispering, trumpeting.

Plucky Mathilda walks right in. She finds all sorts of peculiar things: a sulky captured pirate, a giant popcorn-popping machine, an elephant that falls downhill once a day truly every kind of flawless flourishy footlooseness. Mathilda gets to see everything in every room, guided by the hithering thithering djinn, who even arranges to leave her a souvenir that is just about exactly what she wanted.

Renowned author Donald Barthelme presents Mathilda s escapade in a witty and whacky text with collage illustrations made entirely from nineteenth-century engravings. It's a unique, fun, and ultimately wonderful book.

Editorial Reviews

Jabari Asim
Barthelme, who died in 1989, chose 19th-century wood engravings to illustrate his fabulous fable, and they match his words perfectly. He has crammed the slender book with memorable characters, a story-within-the-story and flashes of "flawless flourishy footlooseness" that all but beg to be read aloud.

Mathilda's djinn describes their adventure as an escapade. That, he explains, is "something you didn't expect which surprises you, pleases you, and frightens you, all at once." Originally published in 1971…should enchant a new generation of youngsters. There is nothing between these pages to frighten a child, but much that will surprise and please.
—The Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585678280
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
11/16/2006
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
711,137
Product dimensions:
8.75(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Donald Barthelme (1931-1989) published twelve books, including two novels and a prize-winning children's book. He was a regular contributor to the New Yorker and taught creative writing at the University of Houston. In his career, he won

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