The inimitable Daniel Pinkwater brings his zany wit and wisdom to this charming and silly slice-of-life adventure story, in which a boy seeking guidance embarks on an adventure around the city of Poughkeepsie with his brother, an eccentric guru, and their misfit friends.
CRAZY IN POUGHKEEPSIE
by Daniel Pinkwater
illustrated by Aaron Renier
Tachyon, May 2022
Mick is a good kid, but maybe he can use just a little guidance. But it’s unclear who will be guiding whom, because Mick’s brother came home from Tibet with the self-proclaimed Guru Lumpo Smythe-Finkel and his dog Lhasa―and then promptly settled both of them in Mick’s bedroom. The thing about this kind of guru is that he doesn’t seem to know exactly what he’s trying to do. He sure does seem to be hungry, though. So Mick agrees to something like a quest, roaming the suburbs with the oddest group of misfits: Lumpo and Lhasa; graffiti-fanatic Verne; and Verne’s unusual friend Molly. Molly is a Dwergish girl―don’t worry if you don’t know what that is yet―and she seems to be going off the rails a bit. Along the way, the gang will get invited to a rollicking ghost party, consult a very strange little king, and actually discover the truth about Heaven. Or a version of the truth anyway, because in a Daniel Pinkwater tale, the truth is never the slightest bit like what you’re expecting.
Daniel Pinkwater is the author and sometimes illustrator of over eighty (and counting) wildly popular books, including The Neddiad, The Hoboken Chicken Emergency, Lizard Music, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Fat Men from Space, Borgel, and the picture book The Big Orange Splot. He has also illustrated many of his own books, although for more recent works that task has passed to his wife, illustrator and novelist Jill Pinkwater. Pinkwater is an occasional commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and appears regularly on Weekend Edition Saturday, where he reviews kids’ books with host Scott Simon. Pinkwater also contributes to Wondertime, and has in the past been spotted on the pages of the New York Times Magazine, OMNI, and many other publications. He lives with his wife and several dogs and cats in a very old farmhouse in New York’s Hudson River.
Aaron Renier (Illustrator) is the author of three graphic novels for younger readers; Spiral-Bound, Walker Bean, and Walker Bean and the Knights of the Waxing Moon. He is the recipient of the Eisner award in 2006 for talent deserving of wider recognition, and was an inaugural resident for the Sendak Fellowship in 2010. He teaches drawing and comics at universities in Chicago.