“You know that book about a family who
eats breakfast in the shower and the mom
wears a dress that’s made out of live chickens?”

h1 September 24th, 2019 by jules


As I’ve made clear before here at 7-Imp, I’m a fan of Abby Hanlon’s Dory Fantasmagory books. I think Abby taps into something real (and often quite poignant) with these books; in the hands of a lesser author, Dory’s antics would be altogether cloying. But Abby seems to know how to write about childhood in a way I think is authentic. She depicts children as they are — in all their glorious weirdness, that is — and not in ways that an adult thinks they should be. (We see a lot of the latter in children’s books.) It’s hard to get books for this age right, and I think Abby gets it just right.

Also, the books make me laugh so hard that I think I’m going to split right in half. They do the same for my daughters, who are now teenagers. When there’s a new Dory book, we still curl up together and take it all in, often having to put the book down for the laughing ALL THE LAUGHING. (No, these books aren’t made for teens, but my own still get a big kick out of Dory. She is that entertaining, and the books are terrifically funny.)



So, it was with interest that I read the latest in the series (the fifth book), Dory Fantasmagory: Tiny Tough (coming to shelves in early October from Dial). I laughed. I cried. I cried from laughing. And the book’s first four pages made me so happy, as the fan I am of the work of James Marshall, that I was nearly glowing. I asked Abby for permission to post them here.

If you’re a fan of Marshall’s books (and, arguably, his best picture book ever), you’ll get this. How fitting for this subversive character to reference a book so iconic in its subversiveness — and genuine weirdness. (Also, Happy Little Farm, as well as Dory’s growl? This also slays me. OF COURSE she’d growl after missing out on the chance to get a story about Grandfather Stupid. OF COURSE she’d growl at an adult who is assuming she wants something only sweet and simple. Keep on growlin’, Dory.)

Thanks to Abby for letting me share. …






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DORY FANTASMAGORY: TINY TOUGH. Copyright © 2019 by Abby Hanlon. Published by Dial Books for Young Readers, New York. All images here used by permission of Abby Hanlon.

One comment to ““You know that book about a family who
eats breakfast in the shower and the mom
wears a dress that’s made out of live chickens?””

  1. Thank you Jules! My sails are full now!! (Growlin’!)

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