The Red Carpet
Rex Parkin ~ MacMillian, 1948
It took a while for the boy to let me read this to him because, of course, if it has no animals in it at first flip-through, he usually isn't interested. (Getting him to read a book without animals as the main characters, is kinda like getting him to eat a food he's never had but I know that he'll like... it takes a little cajoling, but eventually he folds and falls in love.) That said, The Red Carpet is a great book with snappy rhymes, classic illustrations and an utterly original story. Very of the era, the design is sleek and the use of a rainbow of primary colors on some pages and only the red of the carpet on others really makes the flow sing. Fun to look at and fun to read, the prefect combo.
When the folks at the Hotel Bellevue prepare for the arrival of the Duke of Sultana, they roll out the red carpet... and roll it out and roll is out and roll it out... Next thing you know, the carpet has taken on a life of its own, and thus begins a heated motorcycle chase through town involving the mayor, eight cops, cheering townfolk and a road-mending crew. Fast and furious indeed.
Cruising along in their car near St. Clair,
Two cops heard a warning come over the air.
"Attention Car 4!" they heard the voice say.
"Arrest a red carpet! It's coming your way!"
But they dived for the ditch--not a moment too soon--
As the carpet shot over their heads with a zoom!
Don't worry, my son eventually did spot a dog, a horse, a chicken and a cow, and those strategically-placed cameos were enough for him.