The Wonderful O

The Wonderful O

by James Thurber

Hardcover

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Overview

Black and Littlejack are bad men. Littlejack has a map that indicates the existence of a treasure on a far and lonely island. He needs a ship to get there. Black has a ship. So they team up and sail off on Black’s vessel, the Aeiu. “A weird uncanny name,” remarks Littlejack, “like a nightbird screaming.” Black explains that it’s all the vowels except for O. O he hates since his mother got wedged in a porthole. They couldn’t pull her in so they had to push her out.

Black and Littlejack arrive at the port of the far and lonely island and demand the treasure. No one knows anything about it, so they have their henchmen ransack the place—to no avail. But Black has a better idea: he will take over the island and he will purge it of O.

The vicissitudes visited on the islanders by Black and Littlejack, the harsh limits of a life sans O (where shoe is she and woe is we), and how finally with a little luck and lots of pluck the islanders shake off their tyrannical interlopers and discover the true treasure for themselves (Oh yes—and get back their O’s)—these are only some of the surprises that await readers of James Thurber’s timelessly zany fairy tale about two louts who try to lock up the language—and lose. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780671825706
Publisher: Simon Spotlight
Publication date: 12/16/1999
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author

James Thurber (1894–1961) was one of the outstanding American humorists and cartoonists of the twentieth century. Thurber wrote nearly forty books: collections of essays, short stories, fables, and children’s stories, including The 13 Clocks, which is published in The New York Review Children’s Collection. His other books for children include: Many Moons (1943), a Caldecott Honor Book; The Great Quillow (1944); and The White Deer (1945).

Marc Simont (1915-2013) illustrated nearly a hundred books. He won a Caldecott Honor in 1950 for illustrating Ruth Krauss’s The Happy Day, and in 1957 he was awarded the Caldecott Medal for his pictures in A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry. He is the illustrator for The New York Review Children’s Collection books The Backward Day and The 13 Clocks.

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The Wonderful O 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two pirates meet in a tavern one with a map, the other with a ship. Off they go to find the island called Ooroo and a hidden treasure. Once they arrive we find that one of them hates the letter "O" and while they take over the small island looking for the jewels they decide to forbid the existence of the letter 'O' in writing and speech by the inhabitants. This causes immense problems as one can imagine.On the top this is a silly little story with a lot of fun wordplay while underneath it is a story of the fight for freedom. A fun romp that children old enough to manipulate the removal of the 'O's in words will surely enjoy. The message underneath is clear enough and one roots for the islanders to rid themselves of these treasure-hungry dictatorial pirates. Marc Simont is not one of my favourite illustrators as he does get into doing some awfully dark blotchy shadowy paintings but fortunately they appear only a few times in this book. His sketches on the other hand have a delightful comic appeal to them and are completely entertaining. This is a classic children's book and I advise waiting till the child is old enough to read on his own as the wordplay looses its effect when read-aloud. Not Thurber's best children's book, as I can remember that would be Many Moons, but certainly a fun romp for the older kids by one of America's greatest humourists.
Danielle23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very riginal. Made me laugh many times thrughut althugh it really makes yu think abut that missing letter.D yu knw what is it yet?
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's been a few years since I read this book, but it's still one of my favorites. Kids will like it too, but it takes an adult to catch the clever puns and plays on words. It is a great book!