Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Boy Who Ate Flowers

The Boy Who Ate Flowers
Nancy Sherman ~ pictures by Nancy Carroll
Platt & Munk, 1960


Had no idea this book was as collectible as it is until I Googled it just now. I tried to find a reasonably priced copy to link to, but no can do. Though mine is without dust jacket, it's still in great condition with the pictures as vibrant and bright as they must have been on first read way back in good 'ole 1960. The story is wild and imaginative, while at the same time speaking to something most kids can relate...

So, there's this boy see, and he refuses to eat his oatmeal so his father insists...

"Your tummy's fine. It's not the heat. Until your oatmeal's eaten right, you'll get it morning, noon and night." At every meal three times a day poor Peter pushed the bowl away.

As you can imagine, the boy grows mighty, mighty hungry and while walking in the garden..One day some lovely flowers caught his eye. "How beautiful," he thought. "They look so nice, they smell so sweet. They must be good enough to eat."

With that he quickly plucked a white Chrysanthemum.....

And so begins the addiction. He loves the blooms so much his parents send away for a French chef named Algernon who's schooled in the culinary wonders of flowers. (Man, I need one of those.)

So Algernon cooked long and late, and Peter ate and ATE and ATE. He loved to have petunia stew with morning glories poached in dew, escalloped hearts of peony and forsythia fricassee.

After Peter has tasted every flower (almost) in the world, he finds his way back to a steaming bowl of oatmeal. Having a four-year-old self-proclaimed vegetarian in the house, I feel the parent's pain. There are only so many white beans your child will eat before the iron options run out. Easy to see why a few generations have fallen in love with these drawings, so if you stumble across a copy as I did, hold it close!

9 comments:

Naomi said...

That is totally adorable!

Kimberly said...

Sounds like a fun, quirky book. Our county library system doesn't have it, so I'll need to broaden my search. Thanks for introducing me to another title that I'm unlikely to have discovered on my own.

Cloudbusting said...

gorgeous illustrations! I just love it, must keep an eye out!

Flowers said...

You blog looks wonderful. It gave me an idea on how to intermingle edible and ornamental plants next year.

canamm said...

This is soooo funny! I was talking to a lady friend this evening who mentioned there were edible flowers. This reminded me of a book I had read back in the 60's We got on the internet, she looking up edible flowers, me googling "The Boy Who Ate Flowers". Google took me to this blog and several websites that listed this book as still available, copyright 1960. I was floored! We had a good laugh. I was amazed that I not only remembered the book (out of literally hundreds that I read in grade school) but also the illustrations AND the way the book made me feel as I was reading it for the first time. What a pleasant memory!

Scribbler said...

what a great memory. thanks for sharing!

hmshorn said...

I just found my old copy upstairs just in time to read to my 3 year old granddaughter.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great memories! The Shermans were childhood friends and neighbors, and I remember Nancy stopping by to give me an inscribed copy on my ninth birthday. (It accidentally landed in a donation box during a move decades ago. Wherever it is today, I hope it's bringing some child the same joy it brought me.) Nancy and her sister (a twin, if I recall correctly) were "grown-ups" when I knew them, so we weren't close, but they kept a small play house in their backyard for the neighborhood kids to enjoy. I was entranced by the book, though I'm still no fan of vegetables.

B. Streetman said...

thanks for sharing anon. What a wonderful memory!

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