Little Boy Brown
Isobel Harris ~ illustrations by André François
J.B. Lippincott Company, 1948
Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god, I love his book. Picked it up recently at a library sale. I've never heard of it or seen it before, but it easily slides in as one of my top ten faves. It's kinda like Eloise, if Eloise were a boy and more sweet than sass, and if Nanny took her out for a day in the country.
My mother is Mrs. Brown and my father is Mr. Brown--
that's why I'm little boy Brown.
I'm four and a half years old.
From those first lines, you absolutely fall in love with this little guy. He lives in a hotel in the city with an elevator that goes all the way to the subway, and both the establishments where his parents work have tunnels to the subway, so his parents never have to go outside. You can tell too that little Brownie doesn't get out much either. When his mother leaves him with the chambermaid for the day, he has the most ordinary but amazing time with her family... one that has you remembering how wondrous even the everyday seems to a child.
Each drawing has such a wonderful perspective; my favorite being this one where the boy imagines Jack Frost, hanging from the ceiling upside down, biting the nose of his doorman. Illustrated by the famous French cartoonist and New Yorker cartoonist, I could find nothing online about the writer, but her words are so innocent and true to the way children really think.
Mister Snow hadn't been finished a minute when Hilda's mother opened the door and called: "Tea is ready!" We were certainly glad, because we knew there was the chocolate cake in the house. I had milk and bread and butter too. It was the first time I had ever had a Policeman with my tea. It made it better.
Such a great story. Such great illustrations. TEN THUMBS UP!!!