My Curious Uncle Dudley
Publication Date: July 8, 2004
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Enhanced by Tony Auth's wry drawings, Barry Yourgrau's middle-grade fantasy of a boy and his magical, moon-touched uncle is at once humorous and poignant, nostalgic and timeless.
"Invicius Ponticius Supalicius . . . Magilili . . . Lililiculus?"
Duncan Peckle's young life changes forever the day his mysterious relative, Uncle Dudley of the great voyages, arrives in Mt. Geranium in his battered Panama hat and old tweed coat. No sooner do Duncan's parents leave him in his bungling uncle's care than a strange package arrives and the attic guest room is overflowing with the accoutrements of magical research (and one shrunken head). For eleven-year-old Duncan, it's the start of a summer full of marvelous misadventures — from accidentally summoning goblins to reversing invisibility spells, from unleashing a love elixir to zooming around on giant bubbles through the wild night air.
Barry Yourgrau's adult works include HAUNTED TRAVELLER, WEARING DAD'S HEAD, and A MAN JUMPS OUT OF AN AIRPLANE. A performer too, he has appeared on MTV and NPR. Of MY CURIOUS UNCLE DUDLEY, his first book for young readers, he says, "I've always been influenced by children's books — so I decided to write one myself. I remembered the exotic visits, when I was young, by my uncles from far away. And my own visits, as an uncle myself, to my nephew and niece. So I'm part Dudley, you see, and part Duncan."
Tony Auth's irreverent, incisive, and delightful Pulitzer Prizewinning
political cartoons have appeared in the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER and other newspapers around the world since 1971. When he first read Barry Yourgrau's MY CURIOUS UNCLE DUDLEY, he jumped at the chance to illustrate it. "The eccentricity of Uncle Dudley, the cast of wacky characters, and the humane irreverence of the story really attracted me," he says. "I love all the magical mistakes and mess-ups, especially Barry's tender, amused look at the tolerance of children for the grownups in their world."