Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Big Ball of String

A Big Ball of String
Marion Holland ~ Random House, 1958

A book from my husband's era, you guys know I am always fussing about Random House reillustrating their Beginner Books... usually when it gets rid of drawings by Roy McKie (my kids' book crush). In this case (aghast!) is looks like Roy reillustrated this 50s original. ACK! I have not yet seen Roy's version (some of them go for mucho buckos online), so I can't draw comparisons here. I wouldn't gripe about it anyway as I am probably and most-totally biased in Mr. McKie's direction most of the time. That said, I will focus on the story.

At this point, I think I've read way too many of these early Random House books to not notice how many of the authors of this era are trying to mirror Dr. Seuss. That might have been because he was the editor there for a while, or it might be that was how the tide was turning in picture books and all other authors followed suit. Regardless, a very cute story with equally cute drawings about a boy who collects and collects and collects string. When he gets sick with a cold and finds himself bed-bound, he figures out that he can do anything and everything with a ball of string, virtually all at the same time. Classic.

I jumped into bed
With my string in a ball.
With my string.
With my string,
I can do ANYTHING.
Anything, anything,
I can turn on my light!
I can put on my gown!
I can pull the shade up!
I can pull the shade down!
I can bring in the cat,
With a mouse on the floor!
I can turn off the light!
I can shut the hall door!

Makes me wanna throw out all the boy's toys and start again with just the basics. Who needs all the plastic junk anyway, when you can get the job done with some twine and a little imagination.


Randy Astle said...

Thanks for posting over on my blog because now I'll be spending hours perusing yours. This is fantastic material--my daughter is already having me scroll through it to pick books to try to get our hands on!

Burgin Streetman said...

thanks randy. i love your site and its all encompassing nature. nobody else does that I think or at least not as well... i'm glad you came over.... stay and play and make suggestions often!

Cass said...

I think I have A Big Ball of String at home. I'll have to check who illustrated later.

suzanne cabrera said...

Discovered your blog while googling "A Big Ball of String"...my all-time favorite childrens book. I've now found myself lost within your blog...so, so good! I love your perspective!

mabb said...

Thank you for loving this book, too. I've been looonging for it since I was a kid. And now Im determined to find it again. I love it.

I had another favorite book but can't remember the title. Maybe you do. It's about some ants and a blueberry pie. Their little ant feet make amazing art after walking through the pie and then onto the white tablecloth.

Ring a bell anyone?

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