Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Mellops Strike Oil

The Mellops Strike Oil
Tomi Ungerer ~ Harper, 1958 ~ reprinted Phaidon, Oct. 2011

OK, so I knew nothing of The Mellops before I picked up this book and The Mellops Go Diving for Treasure at a used book store for $1.98 a piece a few months back.

Apparently, all the titles in the series are pretty collectible (they were Tomi's first-published), so there must be a good handful of people who remember this delightful ~ if not quirky ~ swine clan. And, I know this blog is called VKBs My Kid Loves but we all know it is full of VKBs that I love... however, anything Mellop, for sure, is a huge favorite of the boy. My son has a canvas tent over his bed with pockets on the inside where we store lots of paperbacks and if I even attempt to rotate these books out to the bookshelf, I'm sure to hear a blood curling "NOOOOOO..... READ THE MELLOPS NOW!!!!!!!"

Really, I know I recommend a ton of books here ~ more than anyone could possibly hope to collect except an utter looney bird like myself ~ but these little piggies get the coveted four thumbs up... or two hooves up... or what ever. They are bad-to-the-pork-chop for sure.

One summer morning Mr. Mellop and his sons go cycling through the countryside. At noon they find a nice shady spot to picnic. Father opens the basket of sandwiches prepared by Mrs. Mellop. "But we have nothing to drink," cries Ferdinand. "We can have fresh water. There is a brook nearby," exclaims Casimir. And he fetches water for everyone. "Pfffff! That water has an awful taste. Like oil," Father complains. "Hey, that means we might find oil in the vicinity."

And sure enough, after some snappy fossil research, the uber-intellectual pig family quickly turns to prospecting. They do hit black gold, but when a forest fire sends things awry, this closeknit herd bans together, for after all... there's nothing in life some of Mom's delicious cream cake can't fix, no? Consider me and the boy cult fans, for sure.

Also by:
The Hat
Zarelda's Ogre
Seeds and More Seeds
The Three Robbers
Moon Man
Orlando The Brave Vulture
Christmas Eve at the Mellops'
I Am Papa Snap and These Are My Favorite No Such Stories
The Beast of Monsieur Racine
Book of Various Owls


  1. For those interested, Phaidon is working on re-publishing many Tomi Ungerer titles that have been out of print. (i.e., God has answered my prayers!)