Orchard Books, June, 2001.
Picture Book, 32 pages.
Ordering information: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk
Grandpa's Overalls is a hilarious, ridiculous romp in which an old man's overalls jump off the hook one morning and simply run away. The entire family, and later the entire town, becomes involved in chasing the errant piece of clothing, and Grandpa follows with the constant refrain of "A man can't work in nothin' but his long-handled drawers!" and "I've got work to do today!"
First the family chases the runaway overalls across the yard and over the fence, and through the chicken house. Then the neighbors come out and begin to ask questions. Everyone is sympathetic, but the overalls can outrun them all. Through the barn, the apple orchard and up into the clouds run the overalls. There is no catching them. The obvious has to happen. Grandpa has to spend the day sitting in the smokehouse and everyone else has to pitch in and get the work done. Strangely, Grandpa is not overly disappointed in not being able to work. Then, just as everyone settles down and walks toward the house, there goes Grandma's nightgown across the yard with Grandpa's overalls. Grandma declares that she cannot sleep without her long-tailed nightie, so the entire ludicrous chase begins all over again, while the moon smiles down on all of them.
Scott Nash's whimsical, cartoon characters of an entire family and town composed of dogs matches the lighthearted silliness of the narrative. The overalls wear a self-satisfied smirk and the chickens look as absurd as only a flock of alarmed chickens can. All of the illustrations are amusing, and they embellish the story as they reflect the attitudes of the various characters. Children will find great humor in the device of the whole silly caper starting over again: this time, by the light of a smiling moon. Don't be surprised if you get asked to read it over again and again.
--Sarah Reaves White
Reprinted with permission from The Internet Writing Journal®.
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