The Tall Book of Nursery Tales
pictures by Feodor Rojankovsky/ published 1955 by Harper & Brothers
These original Tall Books fetch a pretty penny, so I was psyched to find this one in my old collection. When I'd read about the freakishly collectable and expensive Tall Book of Make Believe illustrated by Garth Williams, I knew the format seemed familiar and I suspected we'd had at least one like it. All the favorites are here... The Three Little Pigs, The Gingerbread Boy, Little Red Riding Hood... and some not-so-familiar... The Three Bid Sillies, The Pot That Would Not Stop Boiling and The Straw, the Coal and the Bean. (The pot story was the one that really floated my boat way back when.)
"This is a magic pot, my dear," said the little old woman. "Whenever you are hungry, just say to it, 'Cook little pot, cook!' and you will have sweet porridge. When you have enough, all you need to say is, 'Stop, little pot!' and it will stop."
As you can imagine, the girl's mother cooks up some porridge one day when the girl is away and forgets the proper "stop" command. The next thing you know the town is swimming in the stuff. Awesome!
The tall, skinny format of the book makes it really fun to look at, and as always, Mr. Rojankovsky's pictures are stellar, if not a wee bit strange. His animals are dead on, but his people always looked to me slightly kookie and desperate. Not to be missed if you can come across a copy for cheap.
Over in the Meadow
The Golden Bible