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The Hodgepodge Book by Duncan Emrich
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The Hodgepodge Book

by Duncan Emrich

Other authors: Ib Ohlsson (Illustrator)

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My aunt worked for Four Winds Press when I was a child, and gave me this book. I read it over and over, tried playing a few of the games with my friends, and still recalled many of the rhymes. It went the way of most things, but I recently inherited my aunt's copy and it's like an old friend. ( )
  chelseagirl | Mar 19, 2017 |
Def. for children. Includes *lots* of superstitions (beliefs, if you believe them, or so says Emrich). No narrative, unless you count the few cumulative tales and the occasional commentary. Just a mess of stuff that all children used to now, and that is now being forgotten, as families are smaller and kids aren't allowed to go exploring with others, Most of it's nonsense and not really worth preserving, but it's a good resource for the student of folklore. The notes and references are extensive, but about useless, as they're listed alphabetically by name, so we've no idea which are the source for which bit of wit or whimsy.

I *might* recommend this to an author of children's historical fiction, but much is regional. For example, in Wisconsin, I grew up knowing 'rain before seven, done by eleven.' Generally true there. True elsewhere? Another example - I doubt anybody in WI ever said 'Tall as a Georgia pine. And is that tall, or is that sarcastic? A native California kid would think about Sequoias and Redwoods and scoff.

So, yes, it's a little geocentric to the US, especially east of the Rockies and North of Mason-Dixon. And it's a little sexist, and gets a little edgy on the line of racism & classism, too. Otoh, the pictures are inclusive and charming - I will look for more by Ohlsson; his tomboys are especially delightful.

I do like a few of these silly traditional games and.chants:

"When you are outdoors with a group of friends and have eaten an apple down to its core, turn to one of your friends and say; 'Apple core, Baltimore, who's your friend?' Throw the apple core at the person he names." (quick, before that kid can dodge or run).

New to me tongue-twister: A sure sign of sunshine.

Neat section of what Emrich calls Transpositions, too. I know them as anagrams, and wish the answer had been separated. I'll do you a favor and give you a chance to solve them for yourself. (And if you know any others, please comment, so I can have some fun trying to solve them, too.)

For example: rearrange the letters of Grin, O ant. Answer: ignorant.

Our big hens.
*A wild bear.
Yes, lambs.
Cool cheat.
The wig.
To love ruin.
Mad retort.
A noble car.
I bring a treat.
*There we sat.
*Moon starers.
It is a fact, son.
*Saint Lucy heals it.

Note: these all resolve to a single word. Asterisks mark my favorites. Answers in comments.

"The sun is riz,
The sun is set,
And here we is
In Texas yet!"

(or Montana, or Nevada. or Alaska...)

"When you hear people laughing and don't know why.. "They must have found a hee-hee egg in a haw-haw nest."" ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
When I was in grade school my best friend and I would visit our library and read through this book as if it were a treasure. I ended up ordering an old used one online and love it! ( )
  redrhondahonda | Mar 21, 2010 |
This is my favorite book in the world. I used to check it out of the library constantly in 4th grade. Two years ago, my eldest daughter went online and found it and gave a copy to me for Xmas. It's been out of print for so long, I despaired of ever having my own copy. ( )
  Phatmomma | Jun 27, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Duncan Emrichprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ohlsson, IbIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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