The Circus Baby
Maud and Miska Petersham
Macmillian Publishing Co., 1950
Like there aren't enough weepy-eyed baby elephants in the world, the tear on the cheek of this wee tot wins you over from the very first page. Baby and his mother are circus elephants who love hanging out with the Clown Family. But when Mommy Elephant tries to get Baby Elephant to emulate the Clown Family's table manners, havoc ensues.
Mother Elephant coaxed him to try once more.
He put his foot out to hold the bowl.
The bowl tipped and clattered off the table.
Then Mr. Clown's stool gave a loud creak
and split into pieces.
The Baby Elephant went tumbling to the floor.
From the folks who brought us the Caldecott Medal-winning The Rooster Crows, the illustrations are wonderful, right down to the fuzzy hair sticking up on the baby's back. I particularly love the black, grey, yellow and red tones... especially the fragile tufts of red on the inside of each elephant's mouth. Soooo dainty.
The Box With Red Wheels
Nursery Friends from France