Gorky Rises

by William Steig

Hardcover, 1980



Call number




Farrar Straus & Giroux (J) (1980), Edition: 1st, 32 pages


Clutching the bottle of magic potion he has made, a young frog falls asleep and wakes to find himself floating in the sky.

User reviews

LibraryThing member kidlit9
Gorky the frog mixes a potion that makes him fly. He eventually lands on a rock, which becomes an elephant, and finds his way home to his incredulous parents.
LibraryThing member hcurrey
This is an odd, funny book that has Steig all over it. Gorky is an imaginative fellow that many readers can relate to. The length of the text and smallish pictures do not make it the best all-class read-aloud.
LibraryThing member Nialle
Once again, Steig, that master of child's eye wonder, deliberately and beautifully fails to cater to adult sensibilities, as do those authors whose child characters "wake up" to find that nothing magical really happened or who are left on the last page with no proof and disbelieving parents.

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instead concentrates on the free-flowing mentality that allows a story about kitchen mixing to turn into an elephant genesis story (100% "Just So" free - there is no reason or moral attached to the elephant's creation), ending on a note similar to that of The Amazing Bone. The parents do go on with their quotidian lives, but they do so acknowledging the magic of the child's world.

Given a choice between object lessons in disillusionment in which parents are proved right about the existential emptiness of the world, or the unconditional and admiring love of Steigian parents, I'll take Steig and his lovingly weird and wondrous myths coupled with bright and whimsical illustrations, every time.
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Irma Black Award (Contender — 1981)


Original language



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