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Book cover of Chain Letter

Chain Letter

by Lucille Lang Day, Doug Dworkin

Publisher: Heyday Books
Pages: 32
ISBN: 9781597140119

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Overview of Chain Letter

Come follow the whimsical and hilarious situations a chain letter might get you into. Poet Lucille Lang Day makes her children's book debut with a tongue-in-cheek romp through the adventures of an exceptionally wacky chain letter. Fun, vibrant illustrations of an abominable snowman, a runaway rattlesnake, buried treasures in London, and penguin-sniffing beagles will capture the attention and tickle the funny bone of any child (or childlike adult).

About the Author, Lucille Lang Day

Lucille Lang Day has published creative nonfiction in The Hudson Review, the Istanbul Literary Review, Passages North, the River Oak Review, the Willow Review, and many other journals. She is the recipient of the Willow Review Award in Creative Nonfiction and a Notable Essay citation in Best American Essays. She is also the author of a children's book, Chain Letter, and eight poetry collections and chapbooks, including The Curvature of Blue, Infinities, and The Book of Answers. Her first poetry collection, Self-Portrait with Hand Microscope, received the Joseph Henry Jackson Award. She received an M.A. in English and an M.F.A. in creative writing at San Francisco State University, and also an M.A. in zoology and a Ph.D. in science and mathematics education at the University of California, Berkeley. The founder and director of a small press, Scarlet Tanager Books, she also served for seventeen years as the director of the Hall of Health, an interactive children's museum in Berkeley.

Doug Dworkin grew up in the Washington, D.C., area. He lived for several years in a small cottage in the woods outside of Baltimore before packing up his car and moving to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Reviews of Chain Letter

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School Library Journal

Gr 1-3-An imaginary chain letter arrives in a bottle on the waves. Readers are encouraged to send out 10,000 copies within 24 hours to prevent rattlesnakes from rising from the toilet, or to perhaps gain $12 million from the Statue of Liberty. The global exploration of possible ills and gains ventures to London, the Gal pagos Islands, New York City, California, and the cozy home of the Abominable Snowman. Dworkin's cartoons bring flamboyant comedy to the terse text. The premise of the story relies on youngsters having knowledge of chain letters, but a clever teacher could follow up a reading of this story with a collaborative creation of a class letter that details the consequences of breaking the chain. Most importantly, the book gives a humorous slant to superstition.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

The U.S. Postal Service warns consumers, "If you mail chain letters, you could be committing a federal crime." While this offering may not constitute a felony, or even a misdemeanor, it does represent a fairly pointless exercise that's clearly meant to be fun, but lacks any context that might help kids understand the joke. The text is the chain letter itself, which informs readers that if they send out 10,000 copies within 24 hours of receipt, they "will receive good luck within four days." Examples of such good luck include a stretch limo and a free elephant. Poor Oakley Funk ignored the letter, was bitten by a rattlesnake in the toilet and died. Pedestrian cartoons accompany the text, depicting the actions and events described but rarely extending it. Neither text nor cartoons attempt to inform readers exactly what a chain letter is, both reaching only for random silliness that might elicit a giggle or two but ultimately denying children any kind of coherent story. (Picture book. 5-8)

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