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*Knuckleheads* by Joan Holub, illustrated by Michael Slack
Also by Joan Holub:

Little Red Writing

Also illustrated by Michael Slack:

Scapegoat: The Story of a Goat Named Oat and a Chewed-Up Coat
by Joan Holub, illustrated by Michael Slack
Ages 6-10 40 pages Chronicle Books September 2008 Hardcover    

When Joan Holub and Michael Slack get their hands on a fairy tale, it shows. When retelling a fairy tale, tenderfoots they are not.

Handsel is a righty, prone to fistfights, while his sister, Gretel, is a lefty who cheats at thumb-wrestling. When they make the mistake of nibbling on a house made of finger food, they are thrown into an oven by a witch and her evil oven mitt.

Handerellaís story has a slightly different footing than that of Handsel and Gretel. The evil stepsisters suffer from hammertoe and athleteís foot, and no amount of Bigfoot Lotion or clever maneuvering of a shoe horn will get the Finger Printsí ring to fit their toes.

Thumbelinaís story is handled in two pages, and while that story is nothing to sneeze at, Nose Whiteís story certainly is - and itís all because of the evil witch who slinks into the stories. This green-skinned witch may have a mood ring on her nose in one story, or a foot mask over her head in another, but children will still recognize her as a witch who needs to be handled with care.

Perhaps one of the best fractured fairy tale books out there today, Knuckleheads pays tribute to four of the authorís favorite fairy tales. The writings and illustrations in Handsel and Gretel, Handerella, Thumbelina, and Nose White are hilariously full-bodied and impressive.

Joan Holubís use of word play in Knuckleheads can be enjoyed by readers ages six and up. Along with the puns that appear in the main text, there are extra plays on words outside the main story. Handsel and Gretelís story features a free Finger Tip (Never nibble a strange house). In Handerella, a three-step list explains how to become a wicked stepsister. Riddle-iculous Math, Eek-A-Boo! A Spooky Lift the Flap Book, and Vincent van Gogh: Sunflowers and Swirly Stars are just a few of the over one hundred books Joan Holub has written for children. She lives in Texas.

Michael Slack is an artist, character designer and animator. Having previously illustrated for Time, Ranger Rick, and the New York Times, Michaelís illustrations can also be seen in the childrenís picture books My Life as a Chicken and Pizza, Pigs and Poetry: How to Write a Poem.

Parents, librarians, teachers - itís worth it to foot the bill for this book!

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  Tanya Boudreau/2008 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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