Ounce Dice Trice
By Alastair Reid, illustrated by Ben Shahn
What can words be, or rather, what can’t they be? Poet Alastair Reid introduces children and adults to the wondrous waywardness of words in Ounce Dice Trice, a delicious confection and a wildly unexpected exploration of sound and sense and nonsense that is like nothing else. Reid offers light words (willow, whirr, spinnaker) and heavy words (galoshes, mugwump, crumb), words on the move and odd words, words that read both ways and words that read the wrong way around (rezagrats), along with much else. Accompanied by Ben Shahn’s glorious drawings,Ounce Dice Trice is a book of endless delights, not to mention the only place where you can find the answer to the question: What is a gongoozler? Well, all I can say is quoz.
Hardcover, 64 pages
I want every children’s book editor and also every primary and middle school teacher and librarian in America to read this book. It is the antidote to plotting, plot-driven, two-line synopsizable, anti-imagination books....[Ounce Dice Trice] can be read cover to cover, back to front, middle to end, upside down, any way you like.
— Daniel Pinkwater, Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR
Ben Shahn’s drawings turn Ounce Dice Trice, a word-nonsense book by Alastair Reid, into an art book.
— Los Angeles Times
The book, with more than 100 pictures by Ben Shahn, was designed to amuse and the words belong on the borderline where “the poet and the child meet.”
— The New York Times
Quite marvelous. Illustrated masterfully by artist Ben Shahn. A highly-unusual treat for ages 6 to 100.
—Orange Marmalade Books
For decades, New Yorker writer Alastair Reid has been collecting words, weird ones. In Ounce Dice Trice, the words play tricks on each other and on the reader. Gongoozler. Piddocks. Mumruffin. Reid twists them into rhymes and draws odd connections between them in this book part dictionary, part gonomony receptacle...With black-and-white sketches by painter Ben Shahn, Ounce Dice Trice amounts to great fun for the average gongozzler (idle person) of any age.
— The Bergen County Record
Alastair Reid is a word magician.
— Bill Buford
Ounce Dice Trice, an Alastair Reid book of poems for juveniles, introduces children to the fun of words. Introducing children to words in any form is, to my mind, one of the noblest of endeavors. Alastair himself has had great fun with words, both poetically and prosaically.
— Los Angeles Times
Reading Ounce Dice Trice aloud is the best way of separating the bores from the airs and the squares from the snores.
— Marianne Moore