Jim May writes the stories of his youth, growing up in the rural Midwest between the Truman and the JFK eras, where trading stories was as common as trading horses, and frequently required the same skills. Neighboring, as his mother called it, was part of the social fabric. These 18 poignant and humorous stories of life's joys and trials told with the freshness of youth, yet tempered with the wisdom of age evoke a simpler time in our nation's history without romanticizing the inherent hardships.
High John the Conqueror sometimes called simply High John or John was a slave trickster who always outwits Old Master. Much like Greek slave Aesop's animal characters, High John was the subject of a series of subversive narratives, whose mission was to outsmart his oppressors. Tall tales of High John's exploits flourished during slavery, but after emancipation they fell out of circulation and his antics were all but forgotten.
Clever word play and comic-book style illustrations showcase the adventures of two "bad eggs" who run amok until Chip--one smart cookie--steps in!
Dinner is served. What in nature could be more poetic than the hunt for food and the struggle for survival? In twenty-nine poems readers will squirm at the realities of how the animal world catches food, eats it, and becomes dinner in turn. In these quirky poems readers are introduced to many animals with disgusting eating habits, such as the marabou stork that lurks on the periphery, like a vampire in the shadows, waiting for a chance to pick at a rotting carcass. The dermestid beetle does not mind doing the dirty work, cleaning up animals on the road side and often made busy at museums cleaning up bones for exhibits. And, baby wasps hatch inside an unsuspecting caterpillar and eat their way out. Gross, cool, and extremely funny, David Clark's illustrations get to the heart (and skin and guts) of the food chain and the web of life, depicting the animal world at dinner time in all its gory glory. Back matter includes further information about the animals in the poems and the scientific terms used.
Brace yourself for the scariest field trip of your life! Bumbling, cowardly Eugene is forced to transfer to a new school in northern Michigan, in the middle of the year, and in the middle of a blizzard. Eugene is used to weird things happening in his life, but this new place feels really bad. He has no idea how bad it's going to get until he meets his new English teacher, "Ming the Merciless." To save his classmates from a fatal graduation from Ming's School of the Brass Monkeys, Eugene must deliver an unfinished book to a legendary teacher named McGinty, who is hiding in the underworld. With the help of some renegade teachers and his new friends, he begins an epic journey to find McGinty. Will Eugene survive the Cliffs of Notes and the Sea of Hot Lunches? Will he reach McGinty in time to expose Ming's plot? A great choice for the reluctant reader, Brass Monkeys is action-packed and full of twists and turns. It's sure to keep readers guessing until the very end.
This cat goes beyond the call of duty to keep the mice and roaches in order in this cute little poem by T.S. Eliot.