Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Golden Egg Book

Golden Egg Book
Margaret Wise Brown with pictures by Lilian Obligado/ published 1974 by Golden Books

Seeing as I had both this version and the Leonard Weisgard 1947 original when I was young, I opted to review the Obligado based squarely on that fact that this picture (the one to the right) totally freaked me out when I was a kid. It is simply a drawing of a little rabbit yawning, but something about the way his mouth was gaping... his pink, liver-like tongue... his brown little rabbit teeth protruding from his jaws... I always thought it was the spookiest picture ever. Now looking back, any grudges I might have felt toward this illustration seem misplaced... but still... can a small, furry animal who yawns so grotesquely be hiding something?

My childhood freak-out aside, this tale of bunny/duckling love is one of the best, and possibly Ms. Brown's storytelling pièce de résistance. It is not as poetic as some of her other works, but this one poses a larger, Descartian question... just imagine a cuter, snuggly version of "if a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound?"

"Inside the egg," said the duck,
"I thought I was all alone in a small dark world."
"Now I find myself alone with a bunny
in a big bright world.
And the bunny won't wake up."

The line that really kills me is the last...

So the bunny and the duck were friends,
and no one was ever alone again.

That's some heavy sh*t, man.

Also by:
The Quiet Noisy Book
On Christmas Eve
Christmas in the Barn
The Dead Bird
Little Chicken
Wait Til the Moon Is Full

1 comment:

deb-bee-licious said...

I was just scanning some of your old blogs and clicked on this one because I recently purchased this book (at Goodwill during my hunt for vintage kids' books). Your post made me laugh outloud as I too found the "and no one was ever alone again" ending absurdly amusing. I had to keep rereading that line to confirm it really said that!

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