Wednesday, November 12, 2008


You Are Ri-Di-Cu-Lous
André François
~ Pantheon Books, 1970

By the famed French artist and New Yorker cartoonist, I have vague, vague, vague memories of these characters from being a child, but have no memory of this specific book. Perhaps these were reoccurring characters, perhaps Monsieur François had some backdoor way into the collective subconscious of the 70s toddler set. Who knows. What I can tell you is this book is funny and weird and great and puzzling and shocking and sweet, all at the very same time.

There are these two friends, see. Mister Punch and Mister Poo... and they like to make fun of each other and make asses of themselves...

You look pretty funny.
You do too!
You have a big nose!
You are terribly fat!
I can paint my nose blue.
I can wear a green hat.

But when these two tricksters ban together and head out to sass a two-headed dragon, fatal mistakes are made...

I don't like being called funny names!
said the dragon offended and spitting hot flames.
In fact, Mister Punch,
In fact, Mister Poo...
I'll swallow you up and
wear your hats too!

As my son is prone to ask, "What is the moral of this story, momma?" Well, son. Don't ever call anyone fat, and never, ever, ever make fun of a two-headed dragon lest you want your flesh soaked in stomach acid.


revdj said...

I have been searching for this book for decades. Well, I gave up, and have been searching for a MENTION of this book for decades. Part of the problem was I thought it was "You are very ridiculous" but whatever - you are a hero. I now have a title and an author.

Thank you.

Now find me the Owl and The Pussycat children's album sung by Miss [something] and be my god.

Seriously - this is amazing. Thank you again

Andrew H Wheelock said...

I recall this as the scariest and creepiest books of my childhood. It is a lasting memory that we talk about as siblings almost every year. It left a psychological mark!

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