The Nose Book
Al Perkins ~ Roy McKie
Random House, 1970
I mean who doesn't love Random House's Bright and Early books? We grew up with them. They have their own section in most big-box book chains. They are still pretty rockin' today. But what I don't understand is why RH feels it must constantly muck with a good thing.
As I pointed out in my review of Summer (where some key pages were axed to make the book more friendly), a nose -- even by the same name -- is not the same. Then, last week, I was over at a friend's house and saw that she has a new copy of The Nose Book that looks very different from the one I own.
Now don't get me wrong, I love the illustrator Joe Mathieu. He's old school Sesame Street and a very whimsical and enjoyable artist, but what was wrong with the drawings of Roy McKie? I mean, if they wanted an updated nose book, could they not have just written another nose book? Why did they have to use Al Perkins' words? And this isn't just a mere re-imagining of the book. They obviously asked Joe to redraw the pictures to make them more contemporary... so essentially they are the same pictures, just updated. I happen to think Mr. McKie's drawings are still pretty rad and hysterical, and my son has certainly enjoyed his vintage copy time and time again. I mean, I am biased because I sort of have a crush on Roy (for unknown reasons), and lament that I'll never get a chance to meet the guy.... but still.
Everybody grows a nose.
I see a nose on every face.
I see noses every place!
A nose between each pair of eyes.
Noses! Noses! Every size.
Maybe there is something political at play here that as a collector of old kids' books I am not privy to... copyright law... who knows? That said -- not to rain on Joe's parade (I STILL LOVE YOU MAN!) -- if you have a chance to get hold of an original, it's worth it. (Hey, there are copies on Amazon now for only a penny!)
Travels of Doctor Dolittle
Bennett Cerf's Book of Animal Riddles