The strangest thing

To me, one of the most exciting elements of children’s publishing has got to be the school visit.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I was pretty enamored with anyone remotely famous who showed up to my elementary school.  I can only remember one author ever coming to town, but he earned my undying affection for it.  I read a whole bunch of his books in short succession and managed to get his autograph on my absolute favorite.  And then I told every adult who would listen for ages that I knew a famous, important author.

And who was that man?  Daniel Manus Pinkwater, author of many truly absurd children’s books including The Hoboken Chicken Emergency.

Imagine my delight, then, to see him turn up on this Flavorwire list of the 10 weirdest children’s book authors of all time.  Weird is Pinkwater’s thing, and he’s a master of it.  I’m not sure I’ve read anyone odder before or since.

Pinkwater’s not my only beloved childhood hero to make the list.  All kids everywhere love The Stinky Cheeseman, surely.  Fighting over that one at quiet reading time was a favored pastime in my elementary school classrooms.  And Louis Sachar’s Wayside School books were the most fun a person has ever had doing math.

Maybe as a weekend treat, I’ll go pick up copies of all these now for a trip down weirdness memory lane.


2 Responses to The strangest thing

  1. Giora says:

    What about visiting elementary schools as a literary agent and talk about MG books? Thn the youngsters will talk about Lauren, the literary agent who visited them at school.

  2. RamseyH says:

    Aaaaah, time warp! The words “Hoboken” plus “Chicken” instantly summoned a visual for me – the cover of the edition I read when I was, I dunno, 8? I have no clue what the book was about and I haven’t thought about it since I was a kid, but I very distinctly remember reading it several times and thinking it was the cleverest, funniest thing on the face of the planet.

    Wow. Thanks for that memory.

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