Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Burt Dow Deep-Water Man

Oh, goody!  We discovered another book by Robert McCloskey: Burt Dow Deep-Water Man: A Tale of the Sea in the Classic Tradition (c. 1963).  I hardly thought it could be possible!

Burt Dow Deep-Water Man reveals a master story-teller at work.  First, McCloskey uses onomatopoeia (words that mean what they sound like) to relate this tall tale.  Listen to these lines to hear the onomatopoeia:
  • When Burt Dow puts out to sea in the Tidely-Idley, everybody in town knows it.  They hear him pump out all the water that has leaked in overnight, slish-cashlosh, slish-cashlosh! . . .   Then they hear him start the make-and-break engine, clackety bang! clackety bang! . . . 

  • . . . The giggling gull was teetering to and fro on the tip of the tiller and tittering "Tee-he-he-hee!" now and then, in a nervous sort of way.
Then McCloskey evokes perfect rhythm while weaving his spellbinding tale.  We all know McCloskey as a brilliant illustrator.  However, I challenge you to close your eyes and listen to Burt Dow read aloud . . . you'll discover that the text can stand on its own.  Yes, it's a rare jewel that displays the craft of oral storytelling at its best

So how did Burt Dow get from here:

to here:

Well, you'll have to read this little treasure of an adventure to find out!

By-the-way, here's another title that the fellas would enjoy.