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Daniel Pinkwater Weighs In
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Washington, D.C.
Author: Waldrop, Howard
Date: Oct 1, 1989
Start Page: x.13
Section: BOOK WORLD

There's a section devoted to dogs, mostly malamutes ([Daniel Pinkwater] and his wife Jill wrote what friends tell me is the best dog-training book ever, Superpuppy! and they ran an obedience school for a few years) and some of them will break your heart. Animals of all kinds show up in the other pieces ("Polly Wants a Broad Spectrum Antibiotic"). In "Crack the Whip and Pass the Chips," he talks about real animal trainers-"a good many of my fellow trainers, and some of the greats, have been fatsoes." Speaking of Uncle Heavy and His Porkchop Review, he says "As a sprightly youth of 250 pounds or so, I caught the eye of many a senior trainer. They liked my style." Then he describes how he turned down lion-taming for the arts.

IN SEVERAL of the pieces, Pinkwater's father is the subject. The (transliterated) title piece "Fischvhistle" begins "My father spoke no known language . . . He started out speaking Polish-I guess . . . He could also murder Russian, Yiddish and German." "Talis," the book's final piece, is funny and moving. It describes Pinkwater's father being forbidden to wear a prayer shawl, during a grandson's bar-mitzvah, by a with-it Hollywood rabbi. "Many of our members bring their Christian friends to services here. We don't want them to see old men with beards bobbing around, acting crazy."

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