A retelling of an African-American folk tale about an old man who cuts a creature's tail off and is haunted by the creature, who wants his "tailypo" back
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Grade 2-4-- When a creature invades his cabin, an old black man takes a hatchet and whacks off its tail, thus causing his own demise. Clay's pictures are done in acrylic shades that shift from warm fire-tones like orange and pink to cold, crisp blues and purples. They create a scary and highly graphic accompaniment to this succinctly retold African-American tale. In Joanna Galdone's The Tailypo (Houghton, 1984), Paul Galdone's illustrations are tame and cartoon-comical compared to this realistic, almost gory version. Blood splatters out when the tail is cut off; a frightened owl in a wall clock peeks with one eye as the varmint overcomes the man. Another peculiar, almost macabre touch is a photograph of a woman on the wall that changes expressions and poses throughout the story. Galdone's illustrations leave much to readers' imaginations, while Clay interprets the action literally and skillfully. Wahl's narration is shorter and less lyrical in description than in the earlier version; gone is Galdone's eerie tone and prose through which the suspense is allowed to mount. Because of Clay's illustrations, this new offering is not for the squeamish. --Marianne Pilla, formerly at Upper Dublin Public Library, Dresher, PA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In his first picture book, Clay provides dramatic double- spread paintings for Wahl's lively retelling of this scariest of African-American tales. Each detail of the Tennessee cabin where the unfortunate who makes the error of eating the tail of a mysterious invader awaits his grisly fate is carefully rendered, bathed in the open fire's crimson glow, while a woman's portrait observes with a curious ``I-told-you-so'' look and the owl on the clock recoils in dismay. The thing itself remains indistinct, just the occasional ear or claws glimpsed--the better to terrify by innuendo. Galdone's version (1977) is a standard; this fine debut makes an excellent alternate. (Folklore/Picture book. 5-10) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Henry Holt & Co, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11080504907X