The Other Side of Town

( 1 )


Jon Agee at his best--goofy story, bravura pictures!

In the middle of busy New York City, a cabdriver picks up a tiny guy in a goofy suit who wants to go to the other side of town. The other side of town, it turns out, is not in Brooklyn or Queens. It’s a zany, pink-and-green world where things look very familiar but are completely different.

Now, it’s one thing to go there,...

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Jon Agee at his best--goofy story, bravura pictures!

In the middle of busy New York City, a cabdriver picks up a tiny guy in a goofy suit who wants to go to the other side of town. The other side of town, it turns out, is not in Brooklyn or Queens. It’s a zany, pink-and-green world where things look very familiar but are completely different.

Now, it’s one thing to go there, but how on earth do you ever get back?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After picking up a rotund mustachioed man in a head-to-toe green jumpsuit and pink briefcase, a seen-it-all New York City cabbie takes his fare to “the other side of town.” There, amid the hustle and bustle of Schmeeker Street, folks root for the Spankees and commute via the swoopy, bubblegum-hued Snooklyn Bridge. The blue-uniformed driver and his yellow taxi look out of place in the landscape of cone-shaped homes, where everything is either flamingo pink or mint green. In a Twilight Zone finale, the relieved driver arrives home, only to be served a meal of “tweet loaf, with bravy. It’s very popular on the other side of town!” Agee’s appetite for wordplay and the surreal, in full force throughout books like Mister Putney’s Quacking Dog and My Rhinoceros, tilts to the bland side in this outing. Nonsense and word similarities (“nog lights” vs. “fog lights,” “mush hour” vs. “rush hour”) trump complex double meanings, even if the Spankees and “Finkon Tunnel, after Gabe Finkon” have suggestive monikers. Despite its eccentricities, this parallel universe doesn’t demand return visits. Ages 4–8. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

“The illustrations in both books are perfectly suited to the nonsensical stories they tell. They reinforce the comic sensibilities  inherent in the material and establish the absurd reality essential for the absurd texts that accompany them.” - New York Times Book Review

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Our serious New York City taxi-driver narrator is hailed on the title page by an oddly dressed fellow with a briefcase. He asks to be taken to Schmeeker Street. The driver suggests he must mean Bleeker Street downtown, but his passenger insists on Schmeeker, "on the other side of town." He gives the driver directions, and when our driver reaches what he thinks is a dead end, the man presses a button on a remote control. A wall opens, and in the first of many variations from this usual side of town, they enter the Finkon, not Lincoln Tunnel on the other side of the wall. The passenger is a Spankee, not Yankee fan. They avoid spotholes, not potholes. They get caught in the mush hour traffic before arriving at the man's house. On his way back, the driver fortunately finds the remote control to get home for a surprise ending to the play on words. To introduce the fantasy, the title and author are printed on the back of the jacket along with a view of the strange "other side," while only the remote appears on the cover. On the front the stranger hails the cab. The sketchy illustrations, inside heavy black outlines, are chiefly in shades of green and pink with a yellow cab. The "other side" is filled with strange shapes and objects, almost a toy world. This may be more fun for New Yorkers. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Another laugh-out-loud picture book from Agee. A New York City taxi driver is having a bad day when a small, rotund man in a lime green bodysuit adorned with a pink antenna shows up asking to be taken to "'Schmeeker Street, on the other side of town." The strange man then pulls out a remote control that activates a hidden tunnel. Soon, muted beige coloring gives way to a brightly colored pink and green world, where the "Smets" and "Spankees" are popular baseball teams, "spotholes" are a roadside annoyance, and the cause of traffic is usually "mush" hour. A sense of movement permeates the spreads, from a twisting, Escher-esque maze of ramps to the dizzyingly arching "Snooklyn Bridge" that leads the driver back home where an enjoyable twist is waiting. There's plenty to capture children's attention during read-alouds: the exaggerated postures and expressions of Agee's trademark cartoonlike characters; soft-hued, dynamic illustrations that fill the pages; and a fast-moving, dialogue-heavy narrative. The unique design (the book is flipped so that the title appears on the back cover) adds to the quirky fun. The wordplay will elicit giggles (and smiles of recognition from those familiar with Manhattan). Just as Agee's Terrific! (Hyperion, 2005) was an age-appropriate primer on the concept of sarcasm, The Other Side of Town provides a humorous way for children to learn about rhyming.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545162043
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 797,574
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD350L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Agee is the author and illustrator of a dozen highly acclaimed picture books, among them MILO’S HAT TRICK, TERRIFIC, and NOTHING (all ALA Notables), as well as eight books of wordplay, including MR. PUTNEY'S QUACKING DOG and GO HANG A SALAMI! I’M A LASAGNA HOG!
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 21, 2014

    Jon Agees the other side of town is  a delightful children's boo

    Jon Agees the other side of town is  a delightful children's book with lots of well drawn picture my kid enjoyed this
    book very much

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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