The Books

Rapscallion Jones

by James Marshall

One Potato Review

The Mr. Jones of the title is a layabout boarder not keeping up with the rent, who nevertheless cannot conceive of getting a job. Maybe he could marry a rich widow? Yellowing teeth and an overall decline in pizzazz seem to argue against that.“I have decided to become a writer,” he announces instead one morning at breakfast to his startled fellow boarders, then quickly hits a snag when all of his latent talent, many strong cups of tea and a whole box of paper clips mysteriously do not add up to story. Not for Jones, the long, dark night of the literary soul, and pretty soon he’s out on the streets regaling the local ne’er-do-wells with a tale of two crocodiles that may or may not have happened, involving gobbled chocolate kisses, medical malfeasance, and a sack of dollar bills burning a hole in the freezer. You probably haven’t understood the maximum potential of picture books until you have witnessed a skulk of good-for-nothing foxes guffawing through cigarette smoke at the brazen bamboozle of reptilian bourgeoisie.

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