Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Solomon the Rusty Nail

Solomon the Rusty Nail
William Steig ~ Farrar Straus Giroux, 1985

I swapped with stopping off place for this one a while back, and it's just now made it to the top of the review heap. Which is what happens to a book around here when the boy falls in love and traipses off with it to his horde pile. We have thousands of books and somehow the boy manages to know where each and every one is at any given moment. Particularly the books he loves the most, which includes all of William Steig's titles. Most everything that guy touched turned into pure literary gold.

Solomon is no exception.

Solomon was an ordinary rabbit, except for one thing: anytime he wanted to, he could turn into a rusty nail. How did he discover he had this gift? He was sitting on the bench by his house one day, just gazing at the world, when he happened to scratch his nose and wiggle his toes at exactly the same time.

And zingo! just like that, he became something hard and tiny.

Nobody could make up a story like Steig.

Solomon loves to freak out his family with the neat trick, but when a nasty cat discovers his secret... Solomon eventually ends up nailed to the side of the cat's house, in despair.

As always, Steig's language is positively edible...

"Must I stay locked in this prison until it rots and caves in and releases me? That could take a hundred years. Would I still be alive then?" he wondered. "Do nails die?"

Steig always begged children to think more deeply... feel more strongly... stand on the edge of reason and look out fearlessly on a world of unknowns. In his pages, good always trumps evil using the simple strengths of will and conviction. My kind of happy endings.

Love, love, love that man.

Also by:
The Amazing Bone
Amos & Boris
Rotten Island
Yellow & Pink
The Zabajaba Jungle
Gorky Rises
Tiffky Doofky
Father Palmer's Wagon Ride


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