Today, the New York Review of Books' Children's Collection imprint released a new edition of Daniel Pinkwater's debut book, the classic gonzo science fiction kids' title Lizard Music
. Lizard Music
is the improbable tale of Victor, a social oddball who loves anchovy pizza and late-night TV -- and one night, he discovers that his TV is receiving after-hours programming from another dimension of intelligent lizards.
With help from the Chicken Man (a recurring Pinkwater character -- a street person with a pet chicken), Victor finds his way to the lizards' secret floating island, and then the adventure begins.
No author has ever captured the great fun of being weird, growing up as a happy mutant, unfettered by convention, as well as Pinkwater has. When I was a kid, Pinkwater novels like Lizard Music (and the brilliant Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy From Mars) made me intensely proud to be a little off-center and weird -- they taught me to woo the muse of the odd and made me the happy adult I am today.
The NYRB edition of Lizard Music is a beautiful (if slightly staid) hardcover, a testament to Pinkwater's influence on generations of readers. It's one of those books that, in the right hands at the right time, can change your life for the better and forever.
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