Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 179
Onion John does not appear to me to be a work for children but instead, a "teaching" story, a parable, aimed at parents. Onion John, in spite of minute description, is a personification of an abstraction. Except for what he does in an accidental way, the boy who narrates the story is really not involved as an active participant; it is his father's struggle that is central and resolved at the moment of climax. (pp. 160-61)
Carolyn Horovitz, in Newbery and Caldecott Medal Books: 1956–1965, edited by Lee Kingman (copyright © 1965 by The Horn Book, Inc., Boston), Horn Book, 1965 (and reprinted by Horn Book, 1966).
Mr. Krumgold catches the quintessence of suburbia [in Henry 3]: the lawns and shrubs like stage sets, the subtleties of social climbing from the crib on, the insecurity that insists too much. His kids come across loud and clear and so, sadly, do their elders…. Because it is fast and funny and refreshing reading, because it probes—deep—the problems which bug kids, it should have an enormous impact. (p. 886)
Kirkus Service (copyright © 1967 Virginia Kirkus' Service, Inc.), August 1, 1967.
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