Miss Lollipop's Lion
Judy Varga ~ William Morrow and Company, 1963
I know I am sweet on 60s children's books, but I can't help it. There's something so wonderful about the lines and the colors, not to mention the stories... it was a time when you the social winds were beginning to change... children's books took more chances. I imagine it was a super cool time to be young and seeing things anew. That said... I would've loved to have had this little something in my library when I was wee.
Miss Lola Lollipop paced the floor in her kitchen. She was terribly worried. There was very little food in the house, practically no money and she had a great many mouths to feed. Living with her were fourteen cats, nine dogs, three rabbits, seven canaries, four parakeets, two guinea pigs, and five hamsters, not to mention the donkey in the back yard. Miss Lollipop couldn't look at a stray animal without bringing it home. She couldn't say "No," when someone asked, "Please give my pet a home, I can no longer keep it!" And homeless animals somehow knew they would find a place to stay if they came and sat on Miss Lollipop's doorstep.
Very much like my own mother, Lola is the consummate "crazy pet lady" without the crazy. She's what my grandmother would call a "dear heart." A lover of animals. A sister of mother nature. But anyone who's ever had a house pet knows, the little things can add up. The future looks so dire that sweet Lola is actually dishing out her own dinner to her plentiful pets. That is until one day, a ferocious lion finds its way to her house. Once she scolds the beast for trying to devour one of her rabbits, she gives it a good washing and a lesson in moral conscious and the wild becomes as tame as a pussy cat.
Ends up, the chance meeting between over-sized feline and teenie tiny granny creates a fortune for everyone and no one goes hungry by the close of the tale. The blue and yellows here are so delicious, I could imagine designing an entire nursery around that color palette. Though I have to admit, I do like the look of the lion far better "pre" the granny makeover. Something about lions and bows doesn't sit right with me.