My daughter found this one at the public library - a textbook sloughed off by the Minneapolis school system years ago. It was put out by the Ginn Company in 1972, and as befits a relic of the age of pointless conglomerates, the back cover informed us that Ginn was “a division of Xerox.” This would have been no surprise back then; we were used to car radios coming from a division of Cass-Clay Dairy and Shoeleather, or TV shows produced by International Glue and Video.

As for the name of the book, it spelled fear and pain. When I was growing up, any birthday inevitably had a moment when you’d be cornered by a relative who’d take a small fold of your skin and give it a hard bright tweak: a pinch to grow on! Being small, you couldn’t give them a punch-in-the-nuts-to-hunch-over on, so you stood there and took it.

The title of this book warns the child that the contents will consist of a long excruciating twist of their tender flesh, with nothing but cardboard cake as a reward. Truth in advertising, as we’ll soon see.