Tiffky Doofky

Book review by
Kevin McCaffrey, Common Sense Media
Tiffky Doofky Book Poster Image
Steig's trademark language play is in full swing.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that we found nothing of concern in this story of a garbage collector seeking fulfillment of a fortune-teller's prophecy.

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What's the story?

Garbage collector Tiffky Doofky is having a really good day, but it starts getting a little weird when he pursues the love of his life according to a fortune teller's prediction. You'd think the world was conspiring against his success, but his determination brings him to the right place at the right time.


Is it any good?

In the tradition of all the wonderful William Steig books, you just have to believe in the reality of magic, the power of love, and simple courage. You can trust Steig's instinct for language, story, and illustration to bring your child a magical combination. Simple, cartoonlike drawings of the animals' world (thick black line, thin watercolor) turn magically complex with Tiffky's visit to the dump. All invoke key action at every twist and turn of plot, and you could almost decipher the story just from the pictures -- but you'd miss half the fun!

Steig's trademark language play is in full swing with Tiffky's every adventure. Steig subtly adds several lessons: One man's garbage is Tiffky's treasure, his furnishings, his wardrobe. Hear that, consumer kids? And early in the book, there's a visual clue to the identity of his lady love.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fulfilling desires. How does Madam Tarsal change Tiffky's outlook? Do you believe in fortune-telling?

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