Oxymorons are, of course, words or phrases that are inherently contradictory: "jumbo shrimp", for example. Jon Agee has taken everyday phrases that so easily fall from all our lips and made us realize how delightfully ridiculous they really are. A scorched and burned man stands at his refrigerator while fire shoots from the top compartment. Why, it's FREEZER BURN, of course!! How about a group of drivers pulling their racecars?? Yup, you got it: that's DRAG RACE for you.
Mr. Agee is perhaps better known for his children's books, "Dmitri the Astronaut" and "If Snow Comes", but he's also a master of wordplay, with three other books of palindromes (words or phrases that are spelled the same way forward as backwards) and a book of anagrams (words that can be spelled with the same letters: "Elvis Lives"). These books of oddities of English would be as at home in a classroom as on the living room shelf. Indeed, as a teacher, I often pull one or two of his works into class to get the creative juices flowing with my students as they try to compose their own anagrams, palindromes and oxymorons.
While the book is by no means complete--there are hundreds of oxymorons--it is one of the few published books of contradictory phrases and certainly the only one I know that is illustrated! While I would have liked to see some of the more "controversial" ones (you know, the one's that might--GASP!!-- offend someone, like "military intelligence", "friendly fire" or "athletic scholarship"), the book is definitely recommended to add to your collection, whether you're a wordsmith or not.