Title: McBroom’s EarMcBroom's Ear
Author: Sid Fleischman
Illustrator: Kurt Werth
Pages: 50
Reading Level: 7-8
Star Rating: ★★★

Welcome back, McBroom!

The Story.

Why look here – anybody all about these here parts will tell you that I’m the last person in the world to stretch the truth. Yessirree, Josh McBroom is the surefiringest truth teller in all these parts, sure as spittin’. That’s why this story ought to knock the socks off your ears.

Summer was just settin’ in when our story begins. It was grasshopper weather, and sure enough, before our eyes landed a flock of the pesky critters. They stripped our little cabbages and corn of all their leaves, but we wasn’t afraid of them. No reason to be, what with the phenomenal growing powers of our soil. We just laid out another crop of veggies and watched um sprout up before our eyes.

But there was a problem. See, the county fair was scheduled to take place tomorry, and my children – Willjillhesterchesterpeterpollytimtommarylarryandlittleclarinda – had sure set their hearts on bringing in a prize with one of our melons when what should arrive but an even meaner, nastier set of grasshoppers than before! Time for this here McBroom to hatch a plan.

Discussion.

As should be obvious from the above description, the McBroom series is a thoroughbred in the tall tale genre. The style is really unique, being full parts silly and clever – silly because it obviously could never take place. Clever because it plays upon our notions of the world – why only imagine, the weather was so infernal hot that Mama had to boil the water to cool it off! – and stands the natural order on its head in a way that is both crazy and comical.

The near magical growing qualities of the soil does leave me with one question, though – if everything that touches the soil sprouts into something much larger, why are the McBrooms themselves unaffected?

Conclusion. Fun – obviously not constructive reading, and if your child is prone to silliness or exaggeration not the best thing to give them. But a funny little break for the rest of us. :)

Review © 2015 Laura Verret

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