Knick-Knack Paddywhack!

by Paul O. Zelinsky

Page 1 of 2

Knick-Knack Paddywhack!
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    Penguin Group

    Artist extraordinaire, winner of the Caldecott Medal and three Caldecott Honors, Paul O. Zelinsky has created his first moving-part book since the best-selling Wheels on the Bus. Knick-Knack Paddywack! is a fabulously clever new novelty book based on the counting song, "This Old Man."

    To the verses of the familiar childhood tune, Zelinsky has constructed an ingenious visual narrative that gives ever funnier levels of logic to the nonsense of the song. As a young boy gets up, dresses, and goes for a walk, he encounters (when you pull a tab, turn a wheel, or lift a flap) tiny old men who play knick-knack on or around him. Each of the ten mischievous old men hails from a different walk of life; each comes with an appropriately different dog, holds a different numeral, and rolls home in his own way. And what a sensation home turns out to be! The grand finale of the last spread presents s moving numerical extravaganza: the boy crowded into the old men's house, clapping his hands and tapping his foot, and the men playing their numerals as musical instruments – which gives a new punning meaning both to the idea of playing knick-knack and to "playing one," "playing two," etc., in the lyrics.

    This is interactiveness at its best. Adults as well as children will find themselves charmed by its inventive mechanics (a collaboration with Andrew Baron, a rising star in paper engineering). Throughout the book, they can also find the song's rhyming numbers represented by things to count, and by more things to rhyme with. (The text rhymes six with sticks; the six chicks in the background have their own minor part of the plot.) The book is replete with those little "extras" that fans of Zelinsky books have come to expect. It teaches numbers, body parts, thinking about the sounds of words, and much more.

    Recognized as one of the most outstanding illustrators working today, Paul O. Zelinsky has created a book of such perfectly humorous animation that both young and old will feel they have found the true expression of those classic whacky lyrics.

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    Brought to you by Penguin Young Readers Group.


    The Penguin Group is the second-largest English-language trade book publisher in the world. The company possesses perhaps the world's most prestigious list of best-selling authors and a backlist of unparalleled breadth, depth, and quality. Penguin Young Readers Group features books by authors and illustrators including Judy Blume, Brian Jacques, Eric Carle, and beloved characters like Winnie-the-Pooh, Madeline, The Little Engine that Could, and many, many more.


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