Pinkwater Newsflash – The Yggyssey begins in April!

 The latest Pinkwater podcast reveals that the sequel to the Neddiad will begin appearing in serialized form on Pinkwater’s Website in April.
The Neddiad, which should have been at least a Newbery Honor book this year, was a ton of fun.  Not sure where the sequel will go, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up with a greater understanding of the whole Pinkwater universe.
You may as well sign on for the Yggyssey right away, because I’ll probably be urging you to read it during the whole serialization.

OMG! Snarkout Boys Audio Book!!!!

Pinkwater recently put up the last chapter of Lizard Music as an audiobook over at his blog. I need to devote another whole post to it. It is divine!
But the newsflash is that he has started a new book and it is…. The Snarkout Boys and The Avocado of Death!!!!!!!!!!
I can’t find the words to express my pleasure over this news…
(True my greatest wish is for him to do A.M. Boy from Mars, but this is golden! Golden!)
Life is good!

Lizard Music gets better

Pinkwater’ prose is so chewy and tasty and goes down so easy that it’s easy for the reader to rip into it like  bag of Eggplant-flavored Potato Chips, devouring the whole thing in one crazy gobble.
But there’s another way to enjoy a Pinkwater book — the gourmet way, savoring each morsel.
Since it’s impossible to restrain oneself, however, we need help savoring and not gobbling.
That’s why Pinkwater’s audio books are so wonderful. Whether it’s the magnificent new Neddiad on CD or one of his free, downloadable books, you just can’t beat having Pinkwater read his books to you. The nuances and flavors that you missed while gobbling, now become clear as Pinkwater takes his time reading the stories.
I’ll never forget that first time that I gobbled down Lizard Music and the outrageousness of it all had me flopping about the room in hysterics.
But, now, I’m enjoying the chance to savor it and let me tell you it is mighty fine.
By the way, I went over to the Pinkwater Forum and asked about the possibility of an Alan Mendelsohn audio book and DP responded that it “may possibly” happen. That may possibly be the greatest thing ever! (although I’m also very excited about the coming serialization of the Neddiad sequel.)

Pinkwater newsflash…

I had missed the end of a recent Pinkwater Podcast.
When I finished it up today I realized that I had missed BIG NEWS:
The Neddiad’s sequel (like the Neddiad before it) is going to appear in serialized form on Pinkwater’s blog. At least I think that’s what’s going to happen. It’s still alittle vague, but… we do knw that it will be called THE YGGYSSEY — Can’t wait!!!
By the way… I think it’s a real shame that The Neddiad didn’t get the Newbery* or a Newbery honor. It is a mighty, mighty book that deserves to be on the Newbery list for eager fifth-graders to discover FOR ALL TIME!!!!
*(Not that I have anything against the book that did win!)

No Broken Linking Emergency

NPR this morning mentioned something about a public outcry over a broken link to Pinkwater podcasts and audio books. They’ve cleared it up.
I’ve heard his podcasts, but I had missed the books!
Amazing! Lizard Music is available for FREE download! Presumably read by the man himself. Wow. I can’t wait. (But since I have dial-up, I must wait.) To hear Pinkwater in person reading about model airplane glue and irresponsible sisters and late-night lizard TV…
(By the way, you did catch that magnificent pun in the title of this post, didn’t you?)

UK’s Books for Boys & my additions, subtractions

There’s apparently an official governement list of books for boys in the UK. (It came out last May, but I missed it.)

I haven’t read most of them, but I have to point out that the list contains two of the most over-rated books of all time:

Huck Finn and Robinson Crusoe

Ugh. Why not throw Pilgrim’s Progress on there while you’re at it?

(I just read Horowitz’s bit about not forcing classics on kids.

I agree with that regarding good classics and doubly agree regarding stinky classics, like Huck Finn. (Actually, I think I like it even LESS now than I did when I was a kid.))

Luckily, there are 165 other books that boys can read first.

Since this is a UK list it is an OUTRAGE that Helen Cresswell and John Christopher are not on it. WHAT THE HECK PEOPLE??? In what world is the Tripods series not the ultimate boy book fest?

A few of the books I would add to the list:

Any Pinkwater novel, esp. Alan M.

Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain series and Prince Jen

Ender’s Game

The Westing Game

The Great Brain series

The Furious Flycycle

The Bagthorpe Series

Night of the Birds

Hugo Cabret

The Lotus Caves

The White Mountains (Tripod series)

The Cyberiad, by Lem

and, of course,

The Qwikpick Adventure Society

Poetry Friday – Baconburg Horror Week – PINKWATER Poetry


Time to wrap up Baconburg Horror Week with a little poetry.

Yes, Baconburg Horror has plenty of poetry.

Paranoid poet and possible werewolf Jonathan Quicksilver gives readings at Dharma Buns coffee house, but he composed this one on a napkin  at The Deadly Nightshade Diner — We Never Close:

THAT WEREWOLF                                       BOY





                       I KNOW

                       THAT IT

                                       HAS SOMETHING AGAINST





(Who knows how that will appear on screen, but I tried.)

There’s lots more poetry and werewolfery where this came from folks. So check out THE BACONBURG HORROR today!

Thanks a lot to Daniel Pinkwater for permission to reprint a poem here, answering my questions and writing The Baconburg Horror to begin with.

I’ll see you next year for Avocado of Death Week! No, make that Yobgorgle Week. No, make that Dirty Louise week….


Baconburg Horror Week – Wolf-o-lantern


 Here it is folks, the incredible Baconburg Horror Pumpkin*:


*Okay, fair enough. It’s NOT the Baconburg Horror. It’s actually the werewolf from “I was a Second Grade Werewolf.” Also by Pinkwater and clearly drawn by either himself of his wife Jill Pinkwater. The book doesn’t say. I’m leaning towards it being a Mr. Pinkwater production, but the werewolf does seem to have some Jill-ness about him.

Oddly, if you go a’searching on Google for the cover of “I was a…” instead of finding a picture of the werewolf, you find this guy:

Baconburg Horror Week – Finding the Dickensian in the Pinkwaterian

 I’m not a big fan of analyzing books or “taking the fun out of reading” as it’s also known.

However, sometimes it can add to the fun if your thesis is (a) crazy and (b) maybe, just maybe correct. (Perhaps you’re familiar with my theory that The Hobbit and LOTR are basically The Pickwick Papers.*)

Today we compare two other Great Books: Bleak House and The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror.


To keep things straight, I’ll refer to Bleak House as B.H. and the Baconburg Horror as B.H.

* Both BH & BH switch between first person and omniscient narration.

* Both feature multiple, independently operating detectives zeroing in on the same mystery.

* Scott Feldman and Mr. Guppy share many similarities: They are not evildoers, yet the main characters despise them. They have misplaced pride in their attire. They suffer embarrasing attachment to a parent. And have hopeless love for the heroine. Furthermore, I conjecture that had there been a BugWorld in London, Mr. Guppy would have shopped there.

* Lastly, both books feature a major league pig-out in the BOOTH of a diner. Yes, each author clearly paints the picture of a booth. And it’s a feast with a plot-rattling conversation, to boot.

 Let’s compare: 

Dicken’s characters chow down at place called “slap bang:”

Chick [young Smallweed], out of the profundity of his artfulness, preferring “veal and ham and French beans–and don’t you forget the stuffing, Polly” (with an unearthly cock of his venerable eye), Mr. Guppy and Mr. Jobling give the like order.  Three pint pots of half-and-half are superadded. 

Pinkwater’s characters eat a spot called The Deadly Nightshade Diner — We Never Close:

“Gus — a triple order of borgelnuskies, if you please, and topped with confectioner’s sugar, pinapple slices and instant-whip as usual!”


Which man wrote the following sentence?

“Quickly the waitress returns bearing what is apparently a model of the Tower of Babel but what is really a pile of plates and flat tin dish-covers. ”

Yes, it’s Dickensian, but it’s also Pinkwaterian! The answer?

B.H., of course.

*By the by, if you took my book The Qwikpick Papers you could find many such similarities between BOTH the Baconburg Horror and The Pickwick Papers.

Let Baconburg Horror Week Begin!


In accordance with Halloween protocol, we hereby devote this week to the greatest Werewolf story ever told.

Do I refer to Lupin? No, but that is a great story.

Do I refer to a werewolf walking through Soho in the rain looking for Lee Ho Fook’s? No, but that is a great story.

Do I refer to the Thundarr the Barbarian werewolf battle? No, but that is a great story.

Do I refer to Teen Wolf II? No I do not.

Of course, I refer to “The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror.”

(Yes, True Snarkout Fans, yes. I know you’re raising a technical objection. To mention it here might be something of a spoiler, so let’s just drop it, okay?)

My plan is to celebrate the week with brilliant commentary (anyone care to write some?), culinary delights (anyone have the recipe for Borgelnuskies?), fan art and, of course, end up with a little poetry for Poetry Friday.

 And, I’ll try to score an interview with Daniel Pinkwater.

Let’s start off with something from the book’s opening. Words from the werewolf himself:

“Few creatures, and fewer humans, dream that I exist — and those who know me, know me only as a frightened dream, an imagined flitting dark moment….

 The moon is well into the sky now. The light(s) in the houses are going out. It is almost time for me to begin my running. I tear my civics testbook in two. The binding makes a satisfying snapping sound. I distribute the pages into the night air. They flutter toward earth….

 I rise up on my haunches and announce myself to the night. I give the ancient cry — the howl of the wolfman.”

The next line opens chapter two and was not written by the werewolf (or was it?):

“For more than a year, my friend Winston Bongo and I have been snarking out together.”

If you want to join in the fun, read along with me. If you can’t find the book in stand-alone format:

…you might have an easier time getting your hands on “4 Novels”

….a great Pinkwater collection, that also holds Yobgorgle, which might just be NEXT halloween’s theme.