Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Who Needs Donuts?

by Mark Alan Stamaty
As a third grader who, for the first time in my life, could see all the details of the world, thanks to my brand-new eyeglasses, I became addicted to visual detail. Others seemed to take for granted all the tiny holes in the ceiling tiles, the slow swirls of wood grain in the back of a chair. I was entranced. Stamaty's 1973 children's book, Who Needs Donuts, seems to be the product of someone who not only saw the detail but celebrated it in glorious pen and ink on every inch of the page. The story is fairly simple: a boy goes on a quest for donuts, into the bustling city. This is probably the way cities bustled for me as a child: every building is covered with signs and obscure advertisements and windows full of people going about their lives. Everyone on the street seems to be on their own bizarre quest, and the streets are full of fast-moving vehicles of every shape and purpose. Stamaty hides visual and verbal puns everywhere among the busy-ness. Lots of fun.

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