|Presto and Zesto in Limboland|
Author: Yorinks, Arthur
The story of two friends, Presto and Zesto, and how they find themselves lost in Limboland, wondering how they can escape the cuckoo, mixed-up place.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 501806
Kirkus Reviews (-) (08/15/18)
School Library Journal (10/01/18)
Booklist (+) (08/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/18)
The Hornbook (00/09/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2018 *Starred Review* Often after an author or illustrator’s death, unpublished manuscripts are found in drawers. Many deserve to stay there—but not this one. In his afterword, Yorinks describes this book’s complicated journey, which began with Sendak paintings that were used as projections for an orchestral suite based on Czech nursery rhymes. Eventually the two friends and sometime collaborators (who called themselves Presto and Zesto), turned them into a book, which was forgotten until after Sendak’s death, when an aide unearthed it. The story stars the aforementioned duo who, looking for cake, find themselves in Limboland. The plot, such as it is, involves finding a gift for the Sugar Beets wedding, where, with any luck, there will be cake. They learn only that the horrid Bumbo has the only wedding gift in town, which they must appropriate. Along the way, they meet up with a languid goat, a scissors-wielding bear, and a singing cow—and those are just the animals. The pictures are vintage Sendak: wry, wild, and with all sorts of mysteries tucked away in the corners. For adults who know the backstory, it’s fairly easy to see how the pictures began as unrelated. But Yorinks, using his trademark clever nonsense iced with irony, reveals a tale that links everything together in riotous fashion. An unexpected gift. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2018 PreS-Gr 2—Humor and drama permeate this picaresque tale presented in loosely related episodes. An afterword by Yorinks describes the story's genesis (and exodus). Between 1925 and 1927, Czech composer Leoš Janá ek composed Ríkadla, a choral piece inspired by both the charm of indigent nursery rhymes and their interpretation by compatriot, illustrator Josef Lada. In 1990, the London Symphony Orchestra invited Sendak to create projections for Janá ek's music. Later, Yorinks and Sendak, who called each other Presto and Zesto, respectively, arranged the images and extemporized a connecting narrative featuring themselves searching for dessert and entering a strange realm. To escape, they must wrangle a present—bagpipes—from a devilish monster for the nuptials of two sugar beets, a lovely concluding scene with echoes of Caldecott. The narration combines nursery talk ("With a diddly-dee and a hippity-ho…") with kibitzing and kvetching: "Have you noticed…that you just can't get good cake anymore…?" The manuscript for this flight of fancy was forgotten until recently. Ridiculous situations, silly expressions, and discrepancy between text and image add wit: "…Presto and Zesto tippy-toed away and soon came upon a family thoroughly enjoying the fresh air." The page turn portrays an intimidating father chopping bread with an ax, a mother avoiding eye contact, and a boy pulling on a goat while eyeing another upside-down in the pond. The compositions are informed by Lada, but the style is unmistakable. VERDICT Fresh Sendak art, a preposterous climax in which Presto's torn pants reveal his buttocks, and cake—what's not to like?—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.