Synopses & Reviews
From bestselling author Lemony Snicket and celebrated illustrator Maira Kalman comes an uproarious, whimsical word book like no other.
Together, Snicket and Kalman present a strikingly beautiful journey woven from a practical introduction to thirteen wonderful words, featuring such marvels as Bird, Dog, Panache, and Haberdashery. Snicket, the notoriously clever and elusive New York Times bestselling author, pushes the boundaries of storytelling in the most fanciful of ways. Maira Kalman, renowned for her art and design, carries this madcap adventure to wondrous heights with her vision of a world populated with hats, song, and cake. This rollicking, surprising book is a true celebration of words.
"Based on an unlucky number of key words and authored by someone who takes pleasure in unfortunate events, this volume conjures a sense of foreboding. 'Word Number 1: Bird' introduces the central character, and the accompanying illustration pictures a royal-blue bird perched on a linen tablecloth, in a yellow-and-pink dining room that might have been painted by Matisse. The bird's eye droops sadly, whereupon readers turn to 'Word Number 2: Despondent' and 'Word Number 3: Cake,' an item that might alleviate a bird's ennui, at least temporarily. Despite ominous beginnings, the proceedings turn upbeat with the arrival of a chic 'Word Number 4: Dog,' who concocts witty diversions for the gloomy bird. Kalman's eccentric gouaches elevate the wintry mood; the dog, with his sly grin, resembles Kalman's Max, particularly when he tries on hats at 'Word Number 9: Haberdashery.' Sprinkled with additional vocab words like 'spiffy' and featuring surreal landscapes in ice-cream hues, this word-association game recalls Kalman's solo productions. The conclusion, however, belongs to Snicket, because 'the bird, to tell you the truth, is still a little despondent.' All ages. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
“A book that pushes boundaries and demands such active participation on the part of both readers and listeners to connect language and images (and Kalman’s quirky artwork is a perfect fit, littered with fun details) is to be commended.” ALA Booklist
“[A] winsome story of friendship — proceeds thus, with a Snicketian 13 words in all. Snicket and Kalman are perfectly matched here, both revelers in life’s delicious details and things best left unexplained. This charming chef-d’oeuvre sings like a mezzo-soprano. ” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“13 Words is a winning combination of Lemony Snickets wry narrative tone and Maira Kalmans droll pictures.” Time Out New York Kids
New York Times-bestselling author Snicket teams up with a noted artist to present a beautiful adventure woven from a practical introduction to 13 words, including such marvels as Bird, Dog, Panache, and Haberdashery. Full color.
About the Author
is a bestselling and award-winning artist, illustrator, and writer whose books include 13 Words
(with Daniel Handler), And the Pursuit of Happiness
, and The Elements of Style
. Her artwork has been the subject of 14 solo exhibitions and has also been featured in group exhibitions in major museums.
Daniel Handler is the internationally renowned author of the A Series of Unfortunate Events series, whose books have sold over 60 million copies in 44 languages.