Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hubert's Hair-Raising Adventure

Hubert's Hair Raising Adventure
Bill Peet ~ Houghton Millflin, 1959

As previously mused, it took me a while to get bitten by the Peet bug, but now for sure, I've totally caught the virus... so much so that I paid (almost) full price for this still-in-print title from '59. Granted it was an impulse buy and ten bucks says I see it for way less within the next two days, but still... when you gotta have, you gotta have. The boy has requested it four times in a day in a half, so we've already made that money back in words. The illustrations of the lion's mane alone totally knock my socks off.

So there's this lion see, and he has a big ego, and one day he inadvertently burns his hair all off. His safari friends decide crocodile tears are the only way to get his bald head sprouting again.. and thus begins an adventure that ends in enough hair to wig the ladies of the Metropolitan Opera, The House of Lords and the Mount Sinai Cancer Center in its entirety.... that is if they all wanna be a lovely golden blond, and in all three cases I seriously doubt blonds have more fun.... but I digress. The language in this book is a bouncy rhyme and I couldn't help but pass along the crocodile's hilarious monologue.

"I'm sorry," the crafty Croc said with a sigh,
"But I never shed tears and it's useless to try.
Why only last week as I swam in the lake
I swallowed a very dear friend by mistake.
At the time I admit that I felt some regret,
For you see my poor stomach was slightly upset.
But I have an old saying that's ever so true:
'You can't have your friends and eat them all too.'"

The more and more I read about this man the more I like him... the old school Disney credentials (his look is all over The Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians), the prolific back list, and an illustrated autobiography. How cool is that!?! (Feel free to get sucked into his Website like I did. Just awesome!)

Also by:
The Spooky Tale of Prewitt Peacock
No Such Things


Anonymous said...

I just found your blog. What a wonderful site for those of us who love old books! I noticed a comment where you said you love tips, so here are two of my favorites which I don't see...

Little Brown Bear and his Friends by Upham. She wrote others, this is my favorite and was 40 years ago. At least one later book had a different illustrator, poor imitation.

Blueberries for Sal, McCloskey. I like it much more than Make Way for Ducklings, though perhaps that is because it reminds me of me and my mom.

Carm said...

This one looks good. New to me, but I'll have to check into Peet and risk getting bit by the "bug"!

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

Same for me: the Peet bug hasn't bitten, but I think it's buzzing around. Look at that book list. How can I have not read any Peet?

Dakota said...

I loved this book!...and I had totally forgotten about it!...and responding to Anonymous...One Morning in Maine is my number one favorite McCloskey title.

Burgin Streetman said...

love blueberries for sal, but sadly my boy is scared of the bear... hoping he gets over it before he grows out of it!

sarahfburns said...

I've enjoyed your blog for a while now, children's books were part of why I became an artist. I have always loved them and Bill Peet just blew me away as a kid - and still does. I remember the school librarian reading one to us and I just thought it was the greatest thing ever.

Chandra said...

Just read my first Bill Peet book - How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head. Like you, at first glance the illustrations struck me as a little crude. But I must say the story did win me over by the end - quite a funny end indeed. I'll be keeping my eye out for more of his work!

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