Synopses & Reviews
The New York Review Children's Collection began in 2003 in an attempt to reward readers who have long wished for the return of their favorite titles and to introduce those books to a new generation of readers. The line publishes picture books for preschoolers through to chapter books and novels for older children. Praised for their elegant design and sturdy bindings, these books set a new standard for the definition of a "classic."
Among the 40 titles included in this collection you will find Wee Gillis, a Caldecott Honor Book by the creators of The Story of Ferdinand; Esther Averill's time-honored Jenny and the Cat Club series; The House of Arden by E. Nesbit, one of J.K. Rowling's favorite writers; several titles by the award-winning team of Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire, including their Book of Norse Myths and Book of Animals; James Thurber's The Thirteen Clocks and The Wonderful O, both with illustrations by Marc Simont. Not to be missed is the classic animal adventure story Bel Ria by Sheila Burnford, the author of The Incredible Journey; Lucretia Hale's hilarious The Peterkin Papers; James Cloyd Bowman's Newbery Honor Book, Pecos Bill; and holiday favorites by John Masefield, The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights.
Black and Littlejack are bad men. Littlejack has a map that indicates the existence of a treasure on a far and lonely island. He needs a ship to get there. Black has a ship. So they team up and sail off on Blacks vessel, the Aeiu
. “A weird uncanny name,” remarks Littlejack, “like a nightbird screaming.” Black explains that its all the vowels except for O. O he hates since his mother got wedged in a porthole. They couldnt pull her in so they had to push her out.
Black and Littlejack arrive at the port of the far and lonely island and demand the treasure. No one knows anything about it, so they have their henchmen ransack the place—to no avail. But Black has a better idea: he will take over the island and he will purge it of O.
The vicissitudes visited on the islanders by Black and Littlejack, the harsh limits of a life sans O (where shoe is she and woe is we), and how finally with a little luck and lots of pluck the islanders shake off their tyrannical interlopers and discover the true treasure for themselves (Oh yes—and get back their Os)—these are only some of the surprises that await readers of James Thurbers timelessly zany fairy tale about two louts who try to lock up the language—and lose.
"The Wonderful O," published in 1957, is a tale for children, and a reminder for adults, of the joys of love, liberty, language and, not least, humor. It has pirates and treasure and magic and a message that especially in complacent times must not be forgotten.--"The Wall Street Journal." Illustrations.
About the Author
(1894–1961) was one of the outstanding American humorists and cartoonists of the twentieth century. Thurber wrote nearly forty books: collections of essays, short stories, fables, and children’s stories, including The 13 Clocks
, which is published in The New York Review Children’s Collection. His other books for children include: Many Moons
(1943), a Caldecott Honor Book; The Great Quillow
(1944); and The White Deer
Marc Simont (1915-2013) illustrated nearly a hundred books. He won a Caldecott Honor in 1950 for illustrating Ruth Krauss’s The Happy Day, and in 1957 he was awarded the Caldecott Medal for his pictures in A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry. He is the illustrator for The New York Review Children’s Collection books The Backward Day and The 13 Clocks.