By the Side of the Road by Jules Feiffer

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Synopsis

Master cartoonist and author Jules Feiffer takes a common familyscenario and plays it out to the hilarious end in his delightful, over-the-toppicture book By the Side of the Road. " `If you don`t behave,` my fathersaid, `I`m gonna pull over right here, and you can wait by the side of the roadtill we come and get you. `" Little brother Rudy decides to cooperate, whileolder brother Richard chooses to wait by the side of the road: " An hour later Iwas kind of used to it. Two hours later it was where I wanted to live. " Threehours later, his family comes back for him, but he`s not ready to go. He`s notready the next time, either, but does accept a hamburger. And a sweater. Eventually, he is living full-time by the side of the road, aided by mother andfather only occasionally dropping by with a poncho or a snowsuit, or a house,tutor, and generator, depending upon the season. Richard`s elaborate tunnelsystem for storing " secret stuff" from comic books to " bottles thrown out of carwindows" is straight out of every child`s wildest dreams, as is hismock-Thoreau-style existence, free from grumpy dad and family rules (but wellstocked with computer games and other essentials) .Throughout this outlandish scenario (Richard grows up and has his own family,still by the side of the road, later to be joined by his elderly parents) , wethink about discipline (" The way he said it made me unlearn the lesson I wasright then in the middle of learning" ) , about family (" Sometimes you have tomake concessions" ) , about independence, about dependence (" I`m hungry and I`mcold" ) , about loneliness, and about self-sufficiency. Feiffer`s expressive,fluid drawings capture every motion and emotion with just the right lines,making this crazy run-on picture book a rousing success. (Ages 7 and older) --Karin Snelson

 

About Jules Feiffer

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Jules Feiffer is an acclaimed American editorial cartoonist, playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. Born in the Bronx in 1929, he cultivated his craft at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He ran a Pulitzer prize winning comic strip column in the Village Voice for nearly 42 years. He has also written 26 children's books, several of them award winning. In 2004, he was inducted into the comic book hall of fame.
 
Published April 29, 2002 by Hyperion. 59 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for By the Side of the Road

The New York Times

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(Ages 10 and up) In October 2000, David Clement-Davies's debut novel, ''Fire Bringer,'' was heralded by its publisher as the next ''Watership Down,'' and even came with an endorsement from Richard Adams, the author of ''Watership Down.'' Thoug...

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Publishers Weekly

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It becomes apparent that the child has abandoned his parents, instead of the other way around, as Richard's disempowered mother and father humbly bring provisions for his new home.

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