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Strange Stories for Strange Kids Review - Strange Stories for Strange Kids
Little Lit, Book 2
by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly (Editors)
Joanna Cotler Books, 2001
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Dec 16th 2001 (Volume 5, Issue 50)

Apart from Art Spiegelman and Kaz, the artists here are all different ones from those featured in last year's Little Lit. As in the last book, there are 64 pages, but a couple of the stories are longer in this one. Jacques de Loustal and Paul Auster tell the tale "The Day I Disappeared" about a man whose ghost follows him around one day and then stops himself from drowning. "Barnaby" by Crockett Johnson tells the story of a boy whose fairy godmother turns out to be a little Irish man in a green coat with pink wings, Mr. O'Malley. "Mr. Frost," by Posy Simmonds, is a moralistic story about two children who invite Mr. Frost to stay with them so that they do not have to go to school, but they soon regret their choice. Jules Feiffer's comic strip is about a boy who becomes trapped in a comic book. Ian Falconer and David Sedaris give us a gem about a girl from a proudly ugly family who keeps on making faces, until one day her face sticks in the pose of a pretty girl, which horrifies her.

My favorite contribution is "These Cats Today" by Kim Deitch, for its great artwork. It's a work of detailed psychedelic bizarreness about the land of Katropolis. Deitch's drawing is wonderfully creative and both children and adults should enjoy it. On the whole, I enjoyed the earlier collection of Folklore and Fairy Tale Funnies, which has fun with traditional children's stories, slightly more than this book, but this is still a terrific book. The stories here nearly all have a cleverness both in their stories and their artwork that most children who already like comics will find thrilling; children who have never paid much attention to comics before should find this a great introduction to the form. Highly recommended.

Link:

Little Lit Web Site

© 2001 Christian Perring. First Serial Rights.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in psychiatry. He is especially interested in exploring how philosophers can play a greater role in public life. He is available to give talks on many philosophical or controversial issues in mental health.


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