A Special Trick
Mercer Mayer ~ The Dial Press, 1970
Those of you who have been reading my blog since the beginning know that while my mother was feeding me Tasha Tudor and Kate Greenaway in my youth, all I really needed to make me happy was a good Mercer Mayer. Since I've been collecting for my son, it seems there is a constant stream up untapped backlist titles for us to choose from. I bought this at a library sale a few weeks back and though it does creep my son out a bit, he still asks for it openly and looks with one eye shielded behind his pillow... giggly and giddy with the thrill of seeing something mildly spooky. So, if pigs the size of rabbits and rabbits the size of pigs freak you out, read not on my friend.
So there's this kid see, and he convinces a magician to give him a job sweeping floors and such... but when the magician goes away for the evening, watch out. While cleaning up, the boy comes across a large, crusty, leathery book, and well, everything just goes to hell from there.
Elroy took a closer look. He read to himself: To call a galaplop, say Bing-dong-galaplop-bee-there. Why this is a magician's dictionary, Elroy thought. But what do the words stand for? "I wonder what Bing-dong-galaplop-bee-there means," said Elroy to no one in particular. "And what's a galaplop anyway?"
"I'm a galaplop," thundered a loud voice in Elroy's ears. With a creak and a moan the ground yawned open. Billows of green smoke poured into the air and a very large shape rose out of the hole behind him. Turning around, Elroy saw six eyes peering at him.
What follows is a series of horrifying mishaps and bungled spells that don't get put right until Elroy has read the book in it's entirety. Really, no pun intended, but I would have eaten this up as a kid. The more crazy I go with voices reading this to the boy, the more revved up and wild he becomes. So much fun and mystery in the telling of the story, and it is not all creepy. I mean, Elroy does end up being able to change his bed into a winged pony at will. How awesome is that?
Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp
One Monster After Another
Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-A-Zoo
Me and My Flying Machine
Beauty and the Beast
Little Monster at Work
One Frog Too Many
How the Trollusk Got His Hat