Thursday, October 23, 2008

McBroom's Ghost

McBroom's Ghost
Sid Fleischman ~ pics by Robert Frankenberg ~ WW Norton, 1971


Perhaps the original "slack-jawed yokel", the overbites (underbites?) of McBroom and his clan are practically the focal points of this strangely-illustrated series. Later reillustrated and still in print, the story is a good one about the winter when McBroom's family (wife and 80 kids) was visited by a supposed specter, one that mimics voices and farmyard sounds. That said, I'm all about a book where everybody talks hillbilly. My mom would label this kind of verbal jibber jabber "crazy talk"... because it sounds like...

You never heard such a howling! And didn't those hogs stop in their tracks! I tell you they near jumped out of their skins. That ghost kept yipping and howling from every quarter. Heck Jones didn't have a chance to hee and to haw. Those razorbacks turned on their heels. They trampled him in the mud and kept running -- though one of them did come back for the shoofly pie. My, they did run! I heard later they didn't stop until they arrived back in Arkansas where they were mistaken for guinea pigs. They had run off that much weight.

Yep, this is a book where the young 'uns pass the time flipping through the mail order catalog or listening at the talking machine. The good old days, yes sirree. Even though the word ghost is in the title and there is a ghost (kind of) in the story, McBroom's Ghost is way more funny than scary and odds are your kid will spend the entire time asking questions like... "Why are all those children in that house? Is it a school or something?"... "What's a razorback?"... "Why are you reading the story in that silly voice, mama?"... "Why does that bad guy look like the man on the chicken bucket?"

5 comments:

questions said...

Please take a look at Yokomitsuhashiart.com a new web site that features vintage childrens books from the 1960's like I Have a Horse of My Own, Tall Tales, The Serpentine Prince. Yoko worked with many of the top illustrators in her day. Thanks.

colleen said...

I Realize that you probaly get questions about books all the time but I have another one for you. A book I loved as a child and that I have never been able to find again is called "Duck eggs for sale". I cannot remember who the author is or what year the book is from, but have you ever run into this book?
If you get the chance please let me know. Thank you very much. I enjoy the blog and will check back again soon.
sincercly, Colleen

scribbler said...

no... but try www.whatsthatbook.com they know everything!

love that yoko!

Colleen said...

Thank you! I'll give it a go

Anonymous said...

Mc Broom's Ghost is also used as a Satanic "trigger" book for ritual abuse victims. See page where they are "supposedly" hoisting up a TOOTH...look closely at the tooth. What does it resemble? Look past the tooth...what do you see? Exactly! This is a reminder of a "sacrifice" to the abuse victim to remember and have fear. -Very sick dirty, old man, in the book, too. Do not recommend this book to anyone. Hansel and Gretel is very cult-ic, too.

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