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Why a Disguise?

Overview

The author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and the author-illustrator of Pigs Ahoy! combine their wryly humorous talents in this clever book that explains all the do's and don'ts of donning a disguise. Together they've created a book that will inspire laughter, and maybe even a trip to the costume shop! Full color.

Relates how a disguise can be used to evade the school bully, Mom's lima beans, and other unpleasant things.

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Overview

The author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and the author-illustrator of Pigs Ahoy! combine their wryly humorous talents in this clever book that explains all the do's and don'ts of donning a disguise. Together they've created a book that will inspire laughter, and maybe even a trip to the costume shop! Full color.

Relates how a disguise can be used to evade the school bully, Mom's lima beans, and other unpleasant things.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A boy demonstrates the usefulness of a dime-store disguise. "The lighthearted watercolor art, flooded with droll visual tidbits, will get the laughs here," said PW. Ages 4-6. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Less clever than some of her previous work, Numeroff's (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie; Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers) latest tale will still entertain fans. Kids will automatically warm up to her ingenuous narrator as he shows how a disguise is "a very handy thing to have around" and then outlines the do's and don'ts of deceptive dress. Donning a Groucho-style glasses-and-nose mask complete with an attached beard, the resourceful fellow demonstrates how such a disguise can help "you" avoid being told "It's your turn" by the dentist's nurse, let you off the hook when your mother tries to serve you lima beans and prevent visiting relatives from pinching you on the cheek and telling you how much you've grown. Youngsters will be tickled by the exaggerated power of this minimal disguise, which lets the boy hide his identity even from his parents. Yet it is McPhail's (Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore!) lighthearted watercolor art, flooded with droll visual tidbits, that will get the laughs here. A bathtime scene is especially funny as Mom casts a cool, appraising eye at the narrator, half-naked beneath his oversize beard. In the end, however, wholesomeness prevails: as the boy's parents tuck him into bed, Numeroff reminds readers that "it's nice to know that you're still you." Ages 4-6. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Kristin R. Harris
This silly little book investigates the do's and don'ts of wearing a disguise. It may get you out of your turn at the dentist, or confuse your parents when it's chore time. Or maybe you might want to wear a disguise when relatives come over to avoid the cheek pinching and choruses of how you have grown. "But at the end of the day it's nice to know that you're still you."
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2This story starts on the title page, when a young boy acquires a discarded mask (glasses, nose, and an attached beard). Next, he faces some of life's least-favorite challenges (meeting a bully, eating lima beans, being pinched on the cheek), and seems to successfully avoid them with the help of the disguise. Numeroff has again found the level of humor that so delights youngsters. They will laugh out-loud at the tricks brought to life in McPhail's playful ink-and-watercolor drawings. A good choice for story times and for sparking discussion of other handy uses of disguises.Kathy East, Wood County District Public Library, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689825309
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 5/11/1999
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: AD390L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.99 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.17 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Numeroff
Laura Numeroff
Any kid who's dealt with an exasperated adult is sure to appreciate Laura Joffe Numeroff's If You Give a... series, where children take on semi-parental roles with unexpected, demanding animal guests. Numeroff is an expert at silly situations, catchy verses and stories that absorb and engage.

Biography

If you give a series-prone author an inch, she'll take a mile -- and fortunately for fans of Laura Numeroff's books, she took her concept and is still running with it. Her aphoristic animal stories show what happens when you give a little something ... and get a big list of follow-up requests.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and its companion titles have become favorites not only of parents, but of teachers who like the books' visual elements and domino-effect storylines. Numeroff's other popular titles, What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best and What Grandpas Do Best/What Grandmas Do Best, are loving paeans to activities shared with adults.

A would-be fashion designer who grew up in Brooklyn and now lives in California with a mini-menagerie of pets, Numeroff's stock in trade is her "silly imagination" and her love of animals. Her versatility as a storyteller has been enhanced by the fact that she works with different illustrators, though it also means that all Numeroff titles may not suit the same reader. Her anthropomorphic stories often capitalize on fantasy, but she also has a knack for rhyme, evident in particular in her books Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers and Chimps Don't Wear Glasses.

Numeroff doesn't seem to run out of ideas for ridiculous situations to put people and animals in, nor does she stop celebrating what's special about family relationships. This is what will keep readers coming back to her titles, series-oriented or not.

Good To Know

Numeroff says her parents instilled a love of science and stamp collecting in her as a child, and she has grown into a collector as an adult. Among her collections: stuffed animals, old photographs, autographed children's books, and Halloween masks.

As a teenager, Numeroff was inspired by her sister to become a fashion designer, leading to her attendance at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for college. "Unfortunately," she says, "I hated everything about the fashion department and I couldn't sew to save my life!" Instead, she took a class on writing and illustrating books for children. Her first effort, about the tallest girl in the third grade, was sold before Numeroff graduated. (Amy for Short is now out of print.)

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    1. Also Known As:
      Laura Joffe Numeroff
    2. Hometown:
      Brentwood, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 14, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      B.F.A. with honors, Pratt Institute, 1975; attended Parsons College, 1975
    2. Website:

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