Reader Stacy Muszynski offers these children’s book finds.
Add to your basket of green eggs this Easter a children’s book by Dr. Seuss–or James Joyce, Carl Hiaasen, or Dutch Leonard.
It’s no secret that while cartoonist Theodor Seuss Geisel published more than sixty children’s books in his life, it’s likely fewer people have heard it whispered that Dublin’s James Joyce, Florida Keys’ Carl Hiaasen, and Detroit’s Elmore “Dutch” Leonard have also written stories for the likes of tykes.
Joyce’s The Cat and the Devil, brought to life for his grandson, is based on an “old French story,” according to Book, Booker, Bookest. The story recounts the origins of the bridge over the Loire River in Beaugency, France, built in one night by the Devil after striking a deal
with the Lord Mayor. The Devil built the bridge on the condition that he could keep the first soul to cross it . . .
Crime writer Carl Hiaasen put out two mystery novels fit for kids, Hoot and Flush. According to Hiaasen’s website, the former “plunges readers right into the middle of an ecological mystery, made up of endangered miniature owls, the Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake House scheduled to be built over their burrows.” The latter gives us Noah and his dad who are out to sink the crooked and corrupt Coral Queen Casino boat that’s flushing sewage into their harbor.
Dutch Leonard goes a little deeper into the woods for his characters–or is that the house? A Coyote’s in the House, dedicated to Leonard’s dozen grandchildren and great-grandson, tells the story of Buddy, an aging movie star; Antwan, a rough-and-tumble loner; and Miss Betty, Buddy’s cohabitate, a showgirl princess. But they’re all dogs . . . at heart. Sound familiar? Actually, Antwan’s a coyote who lives wild in the Hollywood Hills with his gang, the Diabolos. That is, until he and Buddy, a pampered former film-star dog, trade places. Adventure, and
great dialogue, ensues.