Punch in New York, 1991 first edition, by Caldecott Award-winner Alice Provensen.


Written and illustrated by Alice Provensen. First edition, 1991. Viking.

"A rosy layer of smog hangs over New York City as the Flight from London prepares for its descent into Kennedy Airport. On board, Il Professore Tucci-Piccini is fussing over his customs declaration and wondering if his puppets need green cards to work in America. His bags are bursting with the cast of his famous Punch and Judy show - the Crocodile and the Baby, the Devil and the Hangman, Judy and the little dog Toby, the Black Man, the Baker, the Cop, and the Clown."

Note on Punch
- Alice Provensen

"In the fifteenth century in Italy a new form of secular drama emerged. Known as the commedia dell'arte, it was a theater, traditionally "profession, unliterary, improvised, ambulant, and played by stock characters." The Punch and Judy show is probably the sole surviving example of true popular theater in the commedia dell'arte tradition. The puppet Punch is one of the wickedest characters ever to grow out of it."

In this story of Mr. Punch, the mischievous marionette is stolen from his puppeteer, Il Professore Tucci-Piccini, and cons the thief into an escape that leads to commandeering the limo of Mr. Helmstrump, the richest man in the world, conning him into believing he's the limo driver, then leads a merry chase through New York City. The story ends with Mr. Punch conning Mr. Helmstrump to hire the Punch and Judy cast.

Alice Provensen was a renowned American illustrator who collaborated with her husband Martin Provensen on forty children's books over more than four decades. Their first book together was The Fireside Book of Folk Songs (1947). They went on to illustrate classics such as The Color Kittens and The Fuzzy Duckling, and stories based on their life on Maple Hill Farm in New York. They won the Caldecott Medal in 1984 for The Glorious Flight, and received several other honors and awards for their work.

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Condition: Near Fine/Fine. Quarter-bound gold-embossed blue and red cloth cover boards. Small black dot on back fly leaf else pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.

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