The Funny Thing

Overview

The Funny Thing is Gág's follow-up to her well-loved first book, Millions of Cats. It tells the story of a curious dragon-like "aminal" that eats children's dolls. A kindly old man named Bobo cannot stand by and allow the Funny Thing to steal dolls from children. He entices it to eat "jum-jills," a concoction he makes up from seven nut cakes, five seed puddings, two cabbage salads, and fifteen little cheeses, all rolled into little balls. A happy ending is assured when the Funny Thing discovers he loves jum-jills...
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Overview

The Funny Thing is Gág's follow-up to her well-loved first book, Millions of Cats. It tells the story of a curious dragon-like "aminal" that eats children's dolls. A kindly old man named Bobo cannot stand by and allow the Funny Thing to steal dolls from children. He entices it to eat "jum-jills," a concoction he makes up from seven nut cakes, five seed puddings, two cabbage salads, and fifteen little cheeses, all rolled into little balls. A happy ending is assured when the Funny Thing discovers he loves jum-jills and is convinced that they will make his tail grow longer and his blue points grow more beautiful. He returns each day for the treats and never eats another doll.Best known for her Newbery Honor winner, Millions of Cats, Wanda Gág (1893-1946) was a pioneer in children's book writing and illustration. Her ground-breaking technique of integrating illustrations with the text is evident in all of her classic books. Born in New Ulm, Minnesota, she rose from poverty to international acclaim as a children's book author, artist, and illustrator. In recognition of her artistry, she was posthumously awarded the 1958 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award for Millions of Cats and the 1977 Kerlan Award for her body of work.

The Funny Thing is an "aminal" who eats nothing but dolls until the good little man of the mountains gets him to taste the jum jills.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The "Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage" series has the admirable mission of republishing "significant out-of-print books that contribute to Minnesota's cultural legacy." How fortunate for lovers of children's literature that Wanda Gag was born in Minnesota! Best known for her award-winning Millions of Cats, Gag (1893-1946) wrote and illustrated three other delightful tales now being reprinted. The Funny Thing, a marvelously expressive creature a bit like a dinosaur with a row of blue points extending from his head to the tip of his long curling tail, loves to eat children's dolls. How Bobo, a bald, bearded little man of the mountains, lures the Thing away from this exotic fare and converts him to "jum-jills" is the plot of this amusing tale rendered in hand-lettered text and illustrated with black-and-white ink drawings distinguished both for their intriguing detail and for their sinuous sense of movement often spilling over two pages. Young readers will enjoy counting the lovingly depicted foods Bobo prepares for birds and animals and relish the winding trip through Bobo's cave, complete with bedroom, study, and old-fashioned kitchen. A recent four-year-old listener was mesmerized by the Thing's ever-changing attitudes and expressions, and enchanted by the final image of the Thing seated at the top of a mountain, his long tail wrapped around it like a terraced road. This beautifully designed little work of art has been out of print too long; children are fortunate to have again this gift from a vibrant artist of the twentieth century. 2003 (orig. 1929), University of Minnesota Press, Ages 3 to 8.
—Barbara L. Talcroft
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698300972
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/9/1960
  • Series: Sandcastle Ser.
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 20.00 (w) x 20.00 (h) x 20.00 (d)

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