Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Was Walking Down the Road

I Was Walking Down The Road
Sarah E. Barchas with pictures by Jack Kent ~ Scholastic, 1975

The more I find books illustrated by Jack Kent, the deeper and deeper in love with him I fall. Consider him my new children's book crush starting now. (Sorry Roy McKie, but know you're still number one in my heart, plus you're still alive and that means there might actually be a chance for us someday... that is if you don't mind sharing me with my husband!) Anywho, Jack Kent's drawings are quite simply great. And great not in some flowery, stunning, immaculate sense, but in the sense that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is great. Or someone scratching your back is great. Or finding a $20 bill on the ground is great. He's that kind of great, and that's truly the best kind of great you can be, no?

So, there's this little girl see, and her story of animal imprisonment is told in a delightfully bouncy rhythm.

I was eating cake and cider.
Then I saw a little spider.
I caught it.
I picked it up.
I put it in a cage.

I was reading something funny.
Then I saw a little bunny.
I caught it.
I picked it up.
I put it in a cage.

And so the story goes until it seems she has every animal on the block in her collection... The end is absolutely perfect in my book.I was looking at my pets.
Then I saw them look at me.
I sat a while.
I thought a while.
And then...
I set them free.

I love the sentiment of this morality tale, and I know that sounds like a crock coming from a woman that to appease her son's animal obsession currently has no less than 11 animals living in some cage or another. Two dogs, one cat, one turtle, four guppies, one mouse and two zebra finches... respectively, of course. Alas and alack. Hum ho.

Also by:
Jack Kent's Twelve Days of Christmas
The Grown-Up Day
The Fox and the Crow
The Biggest Shadow in the Zoo
The Animobile Book
Jack Kent's Book of Nursery Tales
Dooly and the Snortsnoot
Mr. Meebles
Cindy Lou and the Witch's Dog
The Blah
Jack Kent's Valentine Sticker Book
The Bremen-town Musicians
Round Robin
Just Only John
Fly Away Home
Fat Cat
Piggy Bank Gonzales
Socks for Supper


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Brooke said...

I really love Jack Kent. Strong childhood associations with his work.

Anonymous said...

Jack Kent was wonderful! And underappreciated. I had some of his books when I was little and I still love them- "Dooly and the Snortsnoot" is so great and "Jack Kent's Nursery Tales" is beautiful. Thanks for singing his praises :-)

Anonymous said...

This is so lovely, I have never heard of Jack Kent before I've been missing out. I will have to find a copy of these for my little boy and me of course. Thanks for sharing.

Swati said...

Ah yes, that is such a beautiful ending!

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