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Burnt Toast on Davenport Street School & Library Binding – 1 Oct 2001
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Arthur and Stella Crandall, two dogs, are for the most part content with their lives until a fly gets mixed up while granting Arthur three wishes. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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With delightful pictures & a tongue-in-cheek humor, Tim Egan, once again, gives us a charming, instructional parable on the old saying: be careful what you wish for! Do check out my full review & many other great children's books.
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Well, life goes on as usual (the sun rises, the toast burns, and all is well) until one day a fly buzzes through the window. Arthur raises his flyswatter to smack the thing when the fly cries out "Wait!" Turns out, the fly is a magic fly and in return for Arthur not swatting him, the fly will grant three wishes. "'Oh come on,' says Arthur, `that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard." At the fly's insistence, Arthur comes up with three ridiculous wishes: a new toaster, for the crocodiles to turn into squirrels and for him and his wife to be magically transported to a beautiful island where the natives sing and dance all day long.
Arthur, of course, doesn't believe any of this until some time later when he comes into the kitchen to find a squirrel running about and his toaster missing. What's more odd are the five new, shiny toasters sitting on the street corner where the crocs used to be. How odd!! However, that's nothing compared to what happens when he and Stella wake up on a lush, tropical island with the odd natives offering them fresh fruit from a silver platter!! Good grief, his wishes DID come true!!
Mr. Egan has written and illustrated a very amusing tale for story savvy children. Arthur's sarcastic comments to the "magic fly" will delight children who have grown up with (and possibly grown tired of) the old spare-me-and-I'll-grant-you-three-wishes fables. The pictures are big, bold and beautiful, drawing the reader right into the story (a note tacked to the fridge with a magnet reads "bones, milk"). Turning the page and finding Arthur and Stella on a tropical island while still in their bed adds the perfect, hilarious and surreal touch to this wonderful story. Highly recommended!!
My older one has decided (9 months in advance) that she'd like to be the book's grass-skirted llama for Halloween next year. (And speaking of Halloween, fans of this book might also enjoy Egan's Halloween/Frankensteinian tale, The Experiments of Dr. Vermin.)
Bottom line: clever, hilarious, and engaging for both kids and their grown ups.
Warning: The phrase "Oola Oola Oola ooh" may become very commonplace in your household. And how exactly does one make a llama costume?
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