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How did I miss reading Solomon the Rusty Nail for so long? The genius of William Steig is everywhere apparent. Here–at the dinner table with his family–Solomon is keeping “his secret, secret.” Hmmm… “Did any of them even begin to realize who was sitting at their table? Not a one!”

How those eyes and that smile conjure his thoughts!

Zingo! is just one example of the stimulating language Steig employs, for he is a master story-teller as well as an extraordinary artist.

I’ve often heard picture book author-illustrators compare creating the book to making a movie. When you look at Steig’s pictures you see that he gives life to every detail. The tchotchkes were carefully chosen, and you know that items such as the yarn in the knitting basket will be used. I love the disheveled look he can give things, like the way the cushion doesn’t exactly fit on the chair in Brave Irene.

In addition to the vibrant characters and household items, William Steig also paint scenes of breathtaking loveliness. They epitomize the beauty of the natural world and his characters appreciate it–even when, like Solomon, they are viewing it all from the vantage point of being a rusty nail in the side of a building. When The Amazing Bone's Pearl is sitting in the forest in springtime she expresses her expansive mood by saying,’I love everything.”

If you are looking for something special, don’t miss these treasures!

Images copyright 1985 William Steig

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