Harvey Fierstein The Sissy Duckling

ISBN 13: 9780689835667

The Sissy Duckling

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9780689835667: The Sissy Duckling
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Elmer is not like the other boy ducklings. While they like to build forts, he loves to bake cakes. While they like to play baseball, he wants to put on the halftime show. Elmer is a great big sissy.
But when his father is wounded by a hunter's shot, Elmer proves that the biggest sissy can also be the greatest hero.
Acclaimed actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein has crafted a heartwarming story, based on his award-winning HBO animated special, about learning to embrace the special qualities we all possess. Henry Cole's gently humorous illustrations give it a new vitality. This is a book to share with all children, to help them understand that each one of them is unique and valuable.

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About the Author:

Harvey Fierstein is a four-time Tony Award-winning writer, actor, and gay-rights activist. In 1983, he received two Tonys for writing and starring in Torch Song Trilogy, received a third Tony the following year for writing La Cage aux Folle, and another in 2003 for Best Actor in Hairspray. Film audiences know him best for his scene-stealing antics in Mrs. Doubtfire and Independence Day, and he lent his trademark gravelly voice to Disney’s Mulan as Mulan’s soldier friend. He has made numerous TV appearances, including an Emmy-nominated appearance on Cheers and on a classic episode of The Simpsons as Homer’s assistant, Karl. Children know him as the Easter Bunny from the Emmy-winning Elmo Saves Christmas. Harvey also wrote the book for the play Kinky Boots, which won the 2013 Tony for Best Musical.

From Booklist:

Elmer is the happiest duckling in the whole forest, doing all the things he loves best: painting pictures, decorating cookies, sometimes even playing with the girls. But when Papa Duck insists he learn baseball like all the other boy ducks, Elmer fails miserably and, alas, is branded sissy (yes, a scarcely veiled term for homosexual). From that point on, there's no peace for the poor guy. Big bully Drake Duckling makes his life miserable at school, and although at home his mother assures him he's "special," and that he will amaze everyone, his Neanderthal father rejects him, angrily declaring, "He's no son of mine." Devastated, Elmer runs away to make a solitary new home for himself in the forest. He's admirably self-sufficient in the domestic department, but he's lonely and aches to see his parents once more. When hunting season comes, an accident delivers a surprising opportunity for Elmer to get his wish, and also to demonstrate to his father and to everyone else how very special and, indeed, amazing he really is.

Based on playwright-actor Fierstein's animated HBO special of the same name, this picture book is something of a landmark title. Although it's not the first gay-themed book for youngsters, it's arguably the first one from a major trade publisher. The slender selection of previous efforts on this subject have, for the most part, come from smaller or specialty houses, most notably Alyson Publications, which has given us Michael Willhoite's Daddy's Room mate (1991) and Leslea Newman's Heather Has Two Mommies (1991). There have also been a handful of picture books dealing with AIDS--e.g., Newman's Too Far Away to Touch (Clarion, 1995) and Mary Kate Jordan's Losing Uncle Tim (Whitman, 1989)--and at least one about the subject of gay uncles, Judith Vigna's 1995 My Two Uncles, also published by Whitman. The point is that these books have seldom received wide distribution, and even more important, the gay characters in them are all adults. The one notable exception to this, a book that The Sissy Duckling marginally resembles, is Tomie de Paola's Oliver Button Is a Sissy (Harcourt, 1979). This semiautobiographical book is also the story of a boy who doesn't like to do "things boys are supposed to do." The difference is that Oliver Button-- like Charlotte Zolotow's pioneering William's Baby (Harper, 1972)--is more focused on the issue of gender stereotyping than on homosexuality.

Fierstein's book is much more in-your-face about this duckling's differences. As Elmer eventually declares, "I am a BIG SISSY and PROUD of it!" And the story concludes with a declaration that "out in the world Elmer met lots of other ducks just like himself."

Elmer's gay identity is even more evident in the artwork. There's lots of pink in Henry Cole's wonderfully droll, personality-packed, cartoon illustrations: Elmer wears a pink bathing cap and sports snazzy, heart-shaped sunglasses at the beach; he carries his books in a flowered pink backpack; he dances around his new forest home wearing a pink apron and carrying a feather duster; and he decorates cookies with pink frosting. Perhaps most telling, though, is the picture of Ethel Merman hanging on his bedroom wall. All of this, including the glitter used on the jacket's book title (also in pink), is saved from any hint of didacticism by the obvious affection and good humor with which it's done, so children can enjoy the story on different levels. The story, moreover, is fueled by drama and character, and Elmer is such a lovable, sweet-spirited duck that readers of all ages can't help but chorus, "Hey, Elmer! You go, duckling!" Michael Cart
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Henry Cole (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book. Elmer is not like the other boy ducklings. While they like to build forts, he loves to bake cakes. While they like to play baseball, he wants to put on the halftime show. Elmer is a great big sissy. But when his father is wounded by a hunter s shot, Elmer proves that the biggest sissy can also be the greatest hero. Acclaimed actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein has crafted a heartwarming story, based on his award-winning HBO animated special, about learning to embrace the special qualities we all possess. Henry Cole s gently humorous illustrations give it a new vitality. This is a book to share with all children, to help them understand that each one of them is unique and valuable. Seller Inventory # BZV9780689835667

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Henry Cole (illustrator). Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Elmer is not like the other boy ducklings. While they like to build forts, he loves to bake cakes. While they like to play baseball, he wants to put on the halftime show. Elmer is a great big sissy. But when his father is wounded by a hunter s shot, Elmer proves that the biggest sissy can also be the greatest hero. Acclaimed actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein has crafted a heartwarming story, based on his award-winning HBO animated special, about learning to embrace the special qualities we all possess. Henry Cole s gently humorous illustrations give it a new vitality. This is a book to share with all children, to help them understand that each one of them is unique and valuable. Seller Inventory # BZV9780689835667

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2002. Hardback. Condition: New. Henry Cole (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book. Elmer is not like the other boy ducklings. While they like to build forts, he loves to bake cakes. While they like to play baseball, he wants to put on the halftime show. Elmer is a great big sissy. But when his father is wounded by a hunter s shot, Elmer proves that the biggest sissy can also be the greatest hero. Acclaimed actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein has crafted a heartwarming story, based on his award-winning HBO animated special, about learning to embrace the special qualities we all possess. Henry Cole s gently humorous illustrations give it a new vitality. This is a book to share with all children, to help them understand that each one of them is unique and valuable. Seller Inventory # AAS9780689835667

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