Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Little Fur Family

Little Fur Family
Margaret Wise Brown ~ Garth Williams ~ Harper & Row, 1946


As an infant, the boy was obsessed with the rub-the-tummy "Fur Edition" of this title, but when I purged his board books, it got tossed with the rest of them. Last year, I came across a copy of the more big-boy-sized Children's Choice Book Club Edition, and it happily found its way back into rotation. The Little Fur Family is quite possibly my all time favorite first book to give to a child (even more than Goodnight Moon). It's quirky. Funny. Weird. And totally sweet. And little... don't forget little. Though I am a sucker for Eric Carle and Pat the Bunny, I always thought these pages held a little more poetry, abstraction, nuance and soul for a baby book. Case in point..

It was a wild wild wood.
Wild flowers grew all over the ground
and wild winds blew through the air.
Wild nuts fell from the wild nut trees
and wild grass tickled the fur child's nose,
tickled his nose and made him sneeze...
Kerchoo!


and later...

Then he caught a little tiny tiny fur animal
The littlest fur animal in the world
It had warm silky fur and
even a little fur nose.
So he kissed it right on its little fur nose
and put it gently back in the grass
and the little tiny tiny fur animal
ran down a hole into the ground.


Weird, right? Weird in the most wonderful way. As a child, I know I loved to imagine little things, little creatures especially that might be living right outside my window, shuttling around unseen in the dead of night. All the more wonderful to imagine them as furry little creatures in little fur coats rushing off to a hot bath, a snuggle and a goodnight song from Mommy and Daddy.

Sleep, sleep, our little fur child,
Out of the windiness,
Out of the wild.
Sleep warm in your fur
All night long,
In our little fur family.
This is a song.


Makes you feel all warm and fussy inside, don't it?

Also by:
Wait Til the Moon is Full
Do You Know What I'll Do?
The Sky Was BlueThe Rabbit's Wedding
The Quiet Noisy Book
On Christmas Eve
Christmas in the Barn
The Dead Bird
Little Chicken
The Little Island
Amigo
The Friendly Book

17 comments:

Rolfe Bautista said...

You have an excellent blog. These books stir up memories of my younger days.

caryn the designer said...

I love this book. I found it last week at a used bookstore for 50 cents. It is a delightful book.

Janna said...

I honestly don't remember the story, but I loved the furry cover of this book when I was a kid. The one I had was a mini book covered in gray fur. (Someone has a photo of the edition here.)

raul said...

I read this one to my 2 year old last night and he made me read it 3 times.

Elli said...

oh, oh! Garth Williams is absolutely one of my favourite illustrators of all time. The Big Golden book of Elves and Fairies is permanently ingrained in my visual memory thanks to him.

FairiesNest said...

The combo of Brown and Williams has always been a winner in our house! You describe this one perfectly...I think it's the charm and quirkiness that make it unforgettable.

Jonathan said...

Oooh, how have I never seen this one? How can you go wrong, with Margaret Wise Brown AND Garth Williams? What a great find!

Jonathan's mom

Scribbler said...

sooooo good.

katie@weheartbooks.com said...

I new one to me - gorgeous. The search starts now...

Amanda said...

You couldn't go wrong with a book by two greats, Margaret Wise Brown and Garth Williams. Classic!

Anonymous said...

this book is about how wonderful adventures can be whne you have a cozy home to return to.....

james at 10engines said...

our 1.5 y/o loves the part where you throw the bug back in the air. "sssiP"

JayJoe's mom said...

I LOVE this book and have since a little girl. Guess what--totally not PC, but I have a tiny edition of this book that is covered in real fur. I'm guessing rabbit fur. This was pre, pre, PETA. My uncle gave it to me and he was a real, live hippie.

Lady of Letters said...

This one looks cute!

AndieF said...

I picked this book up at the thrift store last year and I like it, although you are right, it is weird! I don't quite LOVE it yet, but it is growing on me. I just read it a couple of days ago in my preschool classroom - it is Bear Week, and while these furry things aren't exactly bears, I figured they were close enough.

Martha said...

This has been my favorite book ever since I brought it home from kindergarten over forty years ago. (And I never thought it was weird.)

becca said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. :)

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