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A kid's guide to the secret knowledge of grown-ups
1998
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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Caldecott winner Wisniewski (Golem) spoofs conspiracy theories in this "confidential" volume, with a jacket designed to resemble a sealed manila envelope and illustrated with intricate cut-paper collages. "As a parent, I went along with it all at first: going to secret meetings... preparing for the day when my kids would want to know why this and why that. But not anymore!" confesses the narrator, whose typewritten words fill a crumpled sheet of brown paper. On the pages that follow, bulletins labeled "TOP SECRET" offer classified information. For example, "Grown-up Rule #31: Eat your vegetables" is followed by "Official Reason: They're good for you." This leads to "The Truth: You don't eat vegetables because they're good for you. You eat vegetables to k...." Here the document is torn as if by an enemy, and a turn of the page reveals, in oversize type: "to keep them under control!" A tyrannosaurus-style broccoli stalk marauds across the accompanying illustration, joined in its depredations by equally sinister carrots, radishes, etc. The engagingly silly formula repeats throughout, the text and the art consistent in their over-the-top humor and sure execution. The mock-official presentation gleefully contrasts with the utter ridiculousness of the "facts," just as the painstaking cut-paper technique contrasts with the loony wit of the compositions themselves. Yet, strangely, the findings seem to prove that young readers should comb their hair and stop blowing bubbles in their milk?could this expose be the work of a double agent? Ages 7-up. (Apr.)

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Wisniewski spoofs conspiracy theories in this "confidential volume," revealing why grown-ups tell children to eat their vegetables and drink milk. "The engagingly silly formula repeats throughout, and the text and the art are consistent in their over-the-top humor and sure execution," said PW. Ages 7-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

David Wisniewski continues his conspiracy theory in The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups: The Second File, explaining to youngsters the "real reason" that grown-ups want them to eat a good breakfast (otherwise your stomach "throws a tantrum") and not watch TV late at night ("so the actors can take a break!"). Once again, Wisniewski's meticulous cut-paper illustrations underscore his comical words of caution. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Annotations

A humorous revelation of the real reasons why adults tell children to do things, such as "Eat your vegetables," "Comb your hair," and "Don't blow bubbles in your milk" - (Baker & Taylor)

A side-tickling guide to the secret world shared by adults invites young readers to explore truths never before suspected, revealing the real reasons grownups tell children what to do. - (Baker & Taylor)

Sssssshhhhh! You are about to open secret files, heretofore hidden from kids for thousandsof years. Steel your mind for the truth. Prepare yourself for knowledge never before held by America's youth. Learn the real reasons grown-ups tell you to do things! Caldecott medalistDavid Wisniewski's surprising revelations will have you rolling in the aisles. - (HARPERCOLL)

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