The illustrations in this book are very fun (Caldecott Honor book, so you'd expect nothing less!) and my favorite part is how detailed they are, with fun little references to Fiddler on the Roof and other cultural phenomena. It is a little moralizing (but it says it will be right up front and doesn't pretend to anything else!) but the lesson is a great one in our throw it away world...reuse and reinvent! It's not personally my favorite book, but I can see why it's beloved.
Simms Taback (1932 - 2011) grew up in the Bronx and graduated from Cooper Union. He worked as an art director and a graphic designer and has taught at the School of Visual Arts and Syracuse University. He illustrated many children’s books, including I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Spacy Riddles, Snakey Riddles, Buggy Riddles, and Fishy Riddles (all written by Katy Hall and Lisa Eisenberg, Dial). His work has won many awards, including the Caldecott Medal for Joseph Had a Little Overcoat and the Caldecott Honor for I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.