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Clinton Gregory's Secret

New or Used: $14.95
Every night, when no-one else is looking, Clinton Gregory does extraordinary things: he befriends a dragon, teaches a stegosaurus a new trick, and flies around the world on a plate of spaghetti. But it's a secret.
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PreS-Clinton Gregory's nights are filled with zany adventures. His companions in the fun-filled romps include a dragon named Gordon, a magic sea horse, two giants, one triceratops, a tiger with spots, a toad, and a ship full of pirates. Each evening brings another secret adventure. "On Friday night, Clinton Gregory and his friends danced under the moonlight." Everything is big in Whatley's colorful and fantastical spreads, which include details sure to appeal to children. The closing spread, suffused with midnight blue, finds a peaceful, sleeping Clinton snug beneath a blanket and surrounded by several of his adventurous stuffed animal pals. An entertaining addition to help wind down the day.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

A junior Walter Mitty actually looks forward to bedtime, when he embarks on fanciful adventures that only he is privy to. "On Monday night, when everyone else was asleep," writes Whatley (illustrator of Diary of a Wombat) as his hero smiles slyly at the reader, "Clinton... on his own... all by himself... wrestled a dragon named Gordon!" On six subsequent nights, the puppylike Gordon is joined by an ever-growing cast of fantastic archetypes and creatures (a pair of giants, a tutu-wearing triceratops), nearly all of them corresponding to toys, books or objects seen in an early view of Clinton's room. Each night, too, the escapades grow in improbability (Sunday's fun culminates in everyone flying around the world on plates of spaghetti). While this concept has been seen before, Whatley executes it well. An intriguing illustrator who combines considerable painterly talents with a flair for goofy comedy, he is an ace at character studies: the giants have huge rubbery faces, while Clinton has a impish, slightly neurotic mug worthy of Nathan Lane. The action is contained by prosceniumlike staging and a white backdrop, so it never devolves into a frenetic free-for-all. Theatrical in the classic sense of the word, this book salutes the power of imagination and the pleasures of the very private joke. Ages 3-7. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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