Norma Fox Mazer Leonore Gordon - Essay

Leonore Gordon

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Steadfastly maintaining self-respect in spite of their derogation by others, the three protagonists [of Mrs Fish, Ape, and Me, the Dump Queen]—Joyce, "Ole Dad" and Mrs. Fish—have a great deal to teach readers of any age.

Joyce, the central character who tells the story, lives with her uncle, Ole Dad, in a garbage dump, of which he is the caretaker. Together, they recycle old garbage into useful forms, critically eyeing the materialism and wastefulness of others. Ole Dad is a positive, nurturing single male parent, still a rarity in children's books.

Each of the three central characters must face the challenge of enduring the age-old sport of name-calling, and children who...

(The entire section is 481 words.)