Word to the Wise: And Other Proverbs

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hurwitz reaches into the bottomless grab-bag of maxims and homilies and selects a handful of the better-known examples to delight and instruct her readers. With a nod to Benjamin Franklin, father of the American adage, the brief preface explains the history of proverbs and then lets the words--and pictures--speak for themselves. Rayevsky's distinctive, exaggerated style is splendidly suited to this dynamic collection. His larger-than-life caricatures give a fresh and funny twist to the sayings, which are often linked visually (the illustrations for ``A watched pot never boils'' and ``Too many cooks spoil the broth,'' on facing pages, feature the same bumbling chefs around the same suspicious kettle). Don't miss the endpapers--Rayevsky whets readers' appetites with a droll panorama of villagers who look gift horses in the mouth, wield new brooms to sweep clean, etc. One especially wry vignette shows a man adding a coin to the piggy bank on his windowsill just as the bank is about to be snatched by a masked burglar, thus demonstrating that although a penny saved may be a penny earned, a fool and his money are soon parted. An afterword provocatively pairs contradictory proverbs, e.g,. ``Look before you leap'' and ``He who hesitates is lost.'' Ages 4-up. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-A short collection of common maxims in picture-book format. Each is illustrated with a flamboyant, dark-hued watercolor that interprets the proverb literally-the early bird, worm in beak, looks back haughtily at its compatriots, still abed-or figuratively- four musicians in uniforms ``flock together.'' Some scenes are strung together, as when the bird is seized (``A bird in the hand...'') and presented to a chef (``Out of the frying pan...''), who becomes one of ``Too many cooks...'' Though the action is not always clear (particularly for ``One good turn...''), Rayevsky's pictures are infused with barbed humor and spiced with visual jokes that will broaden the book's appeal, but less sophisticated readers might still prefer Betty Fraser's First Things First (HarperCollins, 1990). Hurwitz mentions Benjamin Franklin and other adagists in an introduction, and closes with a set of contradictory sayings. No source notes or bibliography are included, but this title is edifying nonetheless.-John Peters, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688120658
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/1994
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.84 (w) x 11.33 (h) x 0.55 (d)

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