The Books

Elbert’s Bad Word

by Audrey Wood

One Potato Review

From the creators of that more famous examination of cause and effect, The Napping House, though every bit as resounding. The title here refers to an ugly, bristly word a boy hears at an elegant garden party, which grows bigger and more irresistible the longer the boy carries it around. The word is never spelled out, but its alternative (cooked up by a bumpkin gardener who is also a practicing wizard) proves sufficiently compelling we may hope that our children remember at least parts of it. “Blistering hop toads!” for example. Joyous and modestly important.

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