Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Four Stories That Never Grow Old

illustrated by Fern Bisel Peat/ published 1931 by Harter Publishing Co.

This book opens with the famous tale of Little Black Sambo about the boy who loses all his lovely things to a pack of ferocious tigers, but due to the tigers' vanity and greed, he ends up getting them back again. And getting pancakes for his trouble to boot.

So he put on all his fine clothes
and went for a walk in the Jungle.
By and by he met a Tiger.
The Tiger said to him, "Little Black Sambo,
I'm gonna eat you up!"
And Little Black Sambo said,
"O please, Mr. Tiger, don't eat me up,
and I'll give you my beautiful little red coat.
So the Tiger got
poor Little Black Sambo's
beautiful little red coat
and went away saying,
"Now I'm the grandest Tiger
in the Jungle."


Followed by The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella, I can imagine a time when books like these were all kids really saw of the rest of the world and how mysterious the stories must have seemed. A part of me would love to chop this one up and frame the lot, but the thought of separating these wonderful drawings from one another is heartbreaking.

2 comments:

musicgirl said...

Great book! Also, it is a highly collectible antique if you can find it!

scribbler said...

really, the illustrations are divine....

a must just for those...

my mom says any little black sambo books of old should be purchased if stumbled upon. collectors go mad for that stuff.

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