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THE MISSING PIECE MEETS THE BIG O
(New York Times Book Review, October 11, 1981)

By Joyce Milton

Let's get one thing clear at the outset. The title of Shel Silverstein's new cartoon fable is definitely the best part. Inside this 100-page hardcover production, we meet a wedge-shaped "missing piece" that's rejected by a series of cellulite-plagued circles in search for you guessed it. When the Big O finally does come along, there's an incompatibility problem and the missing piece is forced to change its shape.

But enough. The ending is a surprise and not the one you might be anticipating either. Shel Silverstein is a witty man and if he's not so much an author of children's books as a publishing phenomenon, who's to complain? All a reviewer can do in this situation is to offer reassurance to nervous parents. Should this book happen to find its way from the local card shop to your house (chances are fair to good that it will), and should your children happen to see it, don't worry. It won't mean a thing to them.

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