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The Funny Thing

2003
Author:

Wanda Gág

The Funny Thing

The whimsical successor to Millions of Cats

The Funny Thing is Gág’s follow-up to her well-loved, Millions of Cats. It tells the story of a curious “aminal” that eats children’s dolls. A kindly man named Bobo cannot stand by and allow this to happen. He entices it to eat the concoction “jum-jills.” A happy ending is assured when the Funny Thing discovers he loves them and never eats another doll.

Gág was among the first to create what we now call an artist-concept book—written, designed and illustrated by one person. Her stories always have a funny twist, that appeals to children. Her simplicity appeals in this complex world.

St. Paul Pioneer Press

The Funny Thing is Gág’s follow-up to her well-loved first book, Millions of Cats. It tells the story of a curious dragon-like “aminal” that eats children’s dolls. A kindly old man named Bobo cannot stand by and allow the Funny Thing to steal dolls from children. He entices it to eat “jum-jills,” a concoction he makes up from seven nut cakes, five seed puddings, two cabbage salads, and fifteen little cheeses, all rolled into little balls. A happy ending is assured when the Funny Thing discovers he loves jum-jills and is convinced that they will make his tail grow longer and his blue points grow more beautiful. He returns each day for the treats and never eats another doll.

The Funny Thing

Best known for her Newbery Honor winner, Millions of Cats, Wanda Gág (1893–1946) was a pioneer in children’s book writing and illustration. Her ground-breaking technique of integrating illustrations with the text is evident in all of her classic books. Born in New Ulm, Minnesota, she rose from poverty to international acclaim as a children’s book author, artist, and illustrator. In recognition of her artistry, she was posthumously awarded the 1958 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award for Millions of Cats and the 1977 Kerlan Award for her body of work.

The Funny Thing

Gág was among the first to create what we now call an artist-concept book—written, designed and illustrated by one person. Her stories always have a funny twist, that appeals to children. Her simplicity appeals in this complex world.

St. Paul Pioneer Press

Her body of children’s books is not large, but each title is a treasure, done in her instantly recognizable style.

Horn Book Magazine