Muddy as a Duck Puddle and Other American Similes
This collection of similes from A to Z is as zany as a chigger chased around a stump. It includes rib-tickling folk expressions from Americans of all walks of life and all parts of the country in a bodacious tribute to both our country’s diversity and pioneer heritage. There is a funny simile and uproarious illustration for each letter of the alphabet. Readers who are as curious as cats will enjoy the fascinating author’s note that explores the origins of the expressions. A bibliography is included.
Reviews and Comments
“Sly and irreverent, the folk sayings collected here, one for each letter of the alphabet, stretch back over history and reflect Americans’ restlessness as they pushed away from being part of an English colony and relished being “independent as a hog on ice.” For each letter, big, clear, brightly colored cartoons show the literal meaning in the imagery expressed in phrases such as “crooked as a barrel of snakes,” as well as the words’ sly double meanings (those snakes are confronting a cowboy bank robber). With the wry celebration of independence and rebellion, kids will relish the boisterous insults and ornery frontier references in both the words and pictures, while the final spacious section with detailed notes on each simile and its origin will be great fun for older readers.” (Booklist)
“Lawlor has collected 26 “proverbial comparisons”—one for each letter of the alphabet—that are uniquely American. Some may be familiar—“Jittery as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs”—and others perhaps more obscure—“Zany as a chigger chased around a stump.” Long’s digitally rendered cartoon illustrations feature bright, flat colors and help to explain the similes while adding significantly to the humor. Back matter includes detailed notes that provide the place of origin and a clear breakdown of the meaning. Useful as an introduction to colorful language, the book could also serve as a preamble to a unit on the American tall tale and its propensity to exaggerate.” (School Library Journal)