#973 – You’re Pulling My Leg! by Pat Street and Eric Brace

cover You’re Pulling My Leg!: 440 Human-Body Sayings from Head to Toe
Written by Pat Street and Eric Brace
Illustrated by Eric Brace
Holiday House   3/15/2016
48 pages    Ages 6—9

“Hip, hip hooray! Street and Bruce used their heads and came up with a book about idioms that hits the topic right on the nose for elementary school students and English language learners. This handy volume allows readers to have hundreds of idioms at their fingertips so they can stay on their toes. The rib-tickling jokes, eye-catching illustrations and overall lighthearted approach will have kids smiling from ear to ear, if they aren’t already too busy laughing their heads off at the book’s knee-slapping humor.” [INSIDE JACKET]

You’re Pulling My Leg is about more than idioms. There are also similes, metaphors, and proverbs. The two authors also throw in alliteration, exaggerations, and crazy dialogue to help kids remember the quip and its meaning. Will all of this work? Mostly, yes. It really depends on the child. It’s a lot for one small picture book, but somehow these two creators got everything onto the pages in a way kids will like. How they did it is fascinating, as I am sure you’ll agree once you take a look at this spread.
crossmyheartEach spread conquers one body part. Bruce added curious, humorous, slightly strange and cartoonish images to help kids understand the phrase, adding in dialogue for added clarity (or just for fun). Working from the top down, You’re Pulling My Leg begins with your head. Everything on your head—face, eyes, nose, mouth, and ears—are on spreads of their own. Your shoulders follow your head, and its continues on down to your feet. Many of these idioms kids have probably heard, now they can find meanings to those they don’t understand. With 400 of these sayings included, it’s a good bet whatever phrase kids want to find the meaning of, will be in You’ll Pulling My Leg.

Some have meanings other than that given, such as “way to use your head – way to think under pressure” could also mean look up, or being hit in the head by some flying object, usually a ball while playing a game. While others I had not heard of such as “he spoke straight from the shoulder – he spoke directly and plainly.” Kids will have loads of fun using their newly learned quips at school and home.
edit2The illustrations are comical, eye-popping characters, including animated animals. Kids will laugh at most every one of these silly reminders. For “eye rolling” Bruce gives kids a cat with “X” for its eyes, while the cat literally rolls its eyeballs on the floor. The characters offer dialogue to help kids remember the definitions, and get a sample of how to use it in a sentence. The images are humorous, a few are odd, and one or two make no sense, but out of 400 this is not a bad average.

Of the 400 offerings in You’re Pulling My Leg work, there are a few I don’t understand why they are included. These seem ordinary and in most kids’ vocabulary. As example:

a baby tooth (definition) a temporary tooth which eventually falls out to make room for a permanent tooth,”

private eye – a detective,”

the tooth fairy – imaginary friend who brings gift when a child loses a tooth,”

belly button – navel.”

editfullgoodI’m not pulling you’re leg when I say You’re Pulling My Leg is not a book kids will read in its entirety at one sitting. Mostly, this is a great book for helping kids use phrases and colorful language to spice up their own writing and their speech. Anytime a child hears an idiom, simile, or metaphor containing a body part, they can look it up to get the meaning. I think this colorful picture book could be an aid for teachers and homeschoolers looking to add to an English language or composition lesson. Older writers might find this an interesting reference book. You’re Pulling My Leg is an interesting, informative, and imaginative book. So “keep your eyes peeled” for You’re Pulling My Leg!

YOU’RE PULLING MY LEG!: 400 HUMAN-BODY SAYINGS FROM HEAD TO TOE. Text copyright © 2016 by Pat Street and Eric Brace. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Eric Brace. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Holiday House, New York, NY.

AmazonIndie BooksHoliday House

Find You’re Pulling My Leg! on Goodreads HERE.
Find a Teacher’s Guide HERE.

Reprinted with permission from YOU’RE PULLING MY LEG!: 400 HUMAN-BODY SAYINGS FROM HEAD TO TOE. © 2016 by Pat Street, Holiday House, Illustrations © 2016 by Eric Brace.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

You’re Pulling My Leg!: 400 Human-Body Sayings from Head to Toe
Written by Pat Street and Eric Brace
Illustrated by Eric Brace
Holiday House 3/15/2016


6 thoughts on “#973 – You’re Pulling My Leg! by Pat Street and Eric Brace

    • Yes, I remember, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake used them, but mostly there was a lot of Dragnet. Will No Peacocks be flush with idioms? Anxious to read that one. Sky Pony Press creates the most gorgeous PBs.


      • Thanks, Sue! No idioms in No Peacocks! Just some very mischievous birds getting into loads of trouble. The story was inspired by the three real peacocks living on the grounds of The Cathedral of St. John the Divine (Phil, Jim and Harry). Sky Pony makes beautiful pbs. There will be idioms aplenty in The Case of the Poached Egg.


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