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|Other side of town|
Author: Agee, Jon
A New York City cab driver picks up a little guy in a goofy suit who takes him on an unexpected trip to the surprising world that lies "on the other side of town."
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 154700
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 1.20
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 59385
Kirkus Reviews (09/15/12)
School Library Journal (12/01/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (01/13)
The Hornbook (00/01/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/01/2012 A New York City taxi driver is bemoaning his bad day when a funny little mustachioed man in a sea-green bodysuit (adorned with a cotton candy–pink curlicue crest) hops in and instructs the driver to take him to “the other side of town.” A little pink remote control opens a secret tunnel that reveals a Seussian maze of roadways leading to an alternate, green-and-pink universe where traffic slows at mush hour and the Spankees play baseball. The cabbie delivers his passenger and, with the help of the remote, eventually makes it home again, only to find his family bedecked in the finery of the other side of town (his wife dons an “I heart TOSOT” apron). Agee’s trademark large, simple pencil sketches evoke both the familiar NYC business and the unfamiliar silliness of the titular destination. Even the cover plays a role in the backwards bedlam, with a wordless front and the title on the back. The large trim size, silly subject matter, and expressive drawings make this a clear, albeit quirky, read-aloud choice. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 12/01/2012 PreS-Gr 2—Another laugh-out-loud picture book from Agee. A New York City taxi driver is having a bad day when a small, rotund man in a lime green bodysuit adorned with a pink antenna shows up asking to be taken to "'Schmeeker Street, on the other side of town." The strange man then pulls out a remote control that activates a hidden tunnel. Soon, muted beige coloring gives way to a brightly colored pink and green world, where the "Smets" and "Spankees" are popular baseball teams, "spotholes" are a roadside annoyance, and the cause of traffic is usually "mush" hour. A sense of movement permeates the spreads, from a twisting, Escher-esque maze of ramps to the dizzyingly arching "Snooklyn Bridge" that leads the driver back home where an enjoyable twist is waiting. There's plenty to capture children's attention during read-alouds: the exaggerated postures and expressions of Agee's trademark cartoonlike characters; soft-hued, dynamic illustrations that fill the pages; and a fast-moving, dialogue-heavy narrative. The unique design (the book is flipped so that the title appears on the back cover) adds to the quirky fun. The wordplay will elicit giggles (and smiles of recognition from those familiar with Manhattan). Just as Agee's Terrific! (Hyperion, 2005) was an age-appropriate primer on the concept of sarcasm, The Other Side of Town provides a humorous way for children to learn about rhyming.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2013 A New York city cab driver is waved down by a strange fellow in a wacky mint-green jumpsuit and hat who requests to go to “Schmeeker Street” on “the other side of town.” At the touch of a button on the stranger’s remote control, a seeming dead end gives way to a parallel but very different city: it’s dotted with pink and mint dome-shaped houses, and places, things, and people have names that rhyme with normal New York people, places, and things (the driver has to take the Finkon Tunnel, named for Gabe Finkon, to get across town, and the stranger roots for the Spankees). Upon returning to his own side of town, the cabbie finds a mysterious change in his family: everyone’s wearing the same kind of mint hat as the stranger, and his wife is serving “tweet loaf with bravy” (“It’s very popular on the other side of town!”). Many kids will be amused by the reality-based silly names and intrigued by the idea of another place existing in conjunction with a real, well-known one. Agee’s writing is immediate and energetic, and his cartoonish, pastel-toned art is attractively strengthened by chunky, smudgy black outlines. The strange passenger is a short, rotund, mustachioed gentleman who carries a pink satchel, and his odd green hat is accented by an upright pink spiral, giving him a humorous contrast to the lanky cab driver in his powder-blue suit and driving cap. This amiably Twilight Zone-esque story could be an amusing prompt for a creative-writing project or useful as an illustration of rhyming or nonsense words. JH - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.