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The Boy Who Cried Fabulous


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About the Author

LESLEA NEWMAN is the author of over fifty books, including Heather Has Two Mommies, the first children's book to portray lesbian families in a positive way. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

PETER FERGUSON has worked for clients like Marvel Comics and The Wall Street Journal. This was his first children's book. Peter lives in Montreal, Canada.


K-Gr 3-Roger, a quirky, enthusiastic boy, is fascinated by the world around him. On the way to school, the clothes in a shop window catch his eye and he stops to exclaim over everything in the "fabulous" store. When he arrives late, his teacher yells at him, admonishing him to go straight home at the end of the day. Roger tries to obey, but he finds more "fabulous" things to shout about and doesn't get there until after dark. His parents are at a loss and end up sending him to bed and banning the word "fabulous" from the household. Roger wants to abide by their wishes, but during a family trip into town he is swept away by "a world too wondrous to ignore" and, in turn, leads the adults on a rollicking, adjective-filled journey through the streets until they come to understand and appreciate their "fabulous" son. Set several decades in the past, this silly but entertaining story is told in lilting rhyme and accompanied by expressive paintings rendered in subdued colors. Roger, with his red hair, eager face, and exuberant personality, fits right into the old-fashioned setting depicted in the artwork. This book offers a refreshing, optimistic message about appreciating the little things in life.-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Fans of Harvey Fierstein's The Sissy Duckling will appreciate this tale starring young Roger, who finds life so "fabulous" that he has trouble staying on task. Walking to school one day, he's consumed by the wonders of a department store. "What a fabulous man/ in a fabulous hat./ What a fabulous tie,/ or perhaps a cravat?" writes Newman (Cats, Cats, Cats!; Heather Has Two Mommies). After showing up late at school and home ("It's so fabulously dark!" he notes, as the realization of his tardiness hits), Roger tries to curb his enthusiasm. But when he goes into town with his parents, he teaches them an important lesson: fabulous is fun. Roger's vocabulary of exhortations (which eventually include "splendid," "luscious" and "scrumptious") is not au courant, but Ferguson, making his children's book debut, smoothes over that potential speed bump with burnished, acrylic paintings that depict Roger as a lively visual throwback. The boy's shockwave of red hair and high-cheeked, bright-eyed face brings to mind Superman's Jimmy Olsen or one of Our Gang. Other retro flourishes (the grown-ups wear hats, the cars sport bulbous fenders), along with Ferguson's theatrical framings, also firmly plant the story in a whimsical realm which makes it easy for readers to go along when the artist pictures Roger dancing a jig on a diner countertop. Adults may declare they know camp when they see it, but kids will always cotton to a character who marches to a different drummer especially one with a fabulous beat. Ages 5-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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