Friday, May 9, 2008

The Three Little Pigs/ The Three Little Kittens

The Three Little Pigs
pictures by Tadasu Izawa and Shigemi Hijikata/ published 1968 by Dairisha and printed and bound by Zokeisha Productions

A girlfriend of mine bought her daughter a large lot of these Twin Puppet Storybooks off of eBay and gifted my son one, and at the time, they seemed vaguely familiar. After further investigation, I think I was remembering the ones from the Golden Books series by Shiba (The Little Mermaid goes for a mint... and you can find out more here). Both sets of books have the same premise with the lenticular 3D covers and the photos snatched from puppet films. Not sure if the man behind the Shiba books is related to the folks who did the Twin Puppet Storybooks, but as both are out of Japan in the 60s and 70s, I'm sure there is some connection. Anyone know? Regardless, it seems the Twin Puppet series is still pretty affordable on eBay, thus easier to collect. That said, these books with their little puppet actors and handmade sceneries are beyond freaky and totally retro.

Even though I'm not hip enough to know the full history behind the pictures, the stories of course are the familiar tales about the kittens and their mittens and the three little pigs, la la la.

Once there were three little pigs
who each wanted to build a house of his own.
"I will build my house of straw," said the first pig.
"I will build my house of twigs," aid the second pig.
I will build my house of bricks," said the third pig

Then there's a wolf and some huffin' and puffin', etc. You know the drill. Same goes for the cats.

Three little kittens
They lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,
“Oh Mother dear,
we sadly fear that we have lost our mittens.
“What, you lost your mittens!
You naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie.”

If anyone knows anything about how the two book series are connected, shoot me a comment. Let the mystery unfold.


Anonymous said...

Hi Burgin - we met you and augie at the park in San Miguel yesterday. As I was reading down this post, I noticed you mentioned the Golden Books Little Mermaid, which was my favorite book when I was small. Now my copy is spine-less, but still loved. I will check out your blog from time to time to uncover some gems to read to Lily and Ryder. Hope you continue to enjoy SMA!

TheAuthor said...

ah this is what brought me to your blog via google.
I have a Shiba Productions book "The Fairy Tale Treasury In Living Colour"
OMG- I see it's a first edition! Published by Purnell in London 1967.
I just compared the Ladybird versions of Cinderella and Snow White to this one with my sons tonight and thought I'd try and find out more about the artists.
Did you ever get any more information about Shiba Productions?


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