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Blogging with Horn Book

"Burt Dow: Deep-Water Man"

ImagedbcgiFor this loopy tall tale, Robert McCloskey  must have ransacked a Lilly Pulitzer shop for his colors and splattered his paint like Jackson Pollock for several pages.  It's a much brighter-looking book than his classics Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal. Like the latter, Burt Dow, which was first published in 1963, takes place  in Maine.

Using a rollicking rhythm that mimics the sea, McCloskey tells the story of the old salt Burt Dow, who heads out in his old dory, clackety-BANG!, to fish for cod and catches something bigger than he ever imagined. One potentially dangerous situation after another ensues, with all of Burt Dow's solutions turning into wacky escapades. I don't want to say too much and spoil the fun.

There's a book-on-tape edition of Burt Dow, which I highly recommend; the narrator sounds like a Down East Jimmy Stewart. Check your local library for it and for the Weston Woods/Scholastic video, also good.


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