Thursday, January 21, 2010

Animal Manners

Animal Manners
Barbara Hazen ~ Leonard Shortall ~ Golden Press, 1974

Anyone who ever read Encyclopedia Brown when they were wee, without realizing it, is probably very well acquainted with Mr. Shortall. He did the original illustrations in the series, and his work on other books pops up here and there in my thrift travels. No matter what it is, I always snatch up vintage oversized Golden Books because 99 times out of a hundred, it's gonna be good. Was not disappointed here.

Very much like Richard Scarry's My Little Golden Book of Manners, whenever there are animals (the most ill-mannered bunch of all!) teaching polite behavior, it always cracks me up. As if animals run around sporting ascots and twirling parasols and saying please and thank you all the time. Wonderfully ridiculous! So enter a world where pigs curtsy, the ox always knocks, elephants remember to wipe their feet, but monkeys still act like lunatics."May I help you?
Asks the kinkajou.
May I take your bag?
May I tie your shoe?
May I push your wagon
Or pour your tea
Or help you with
Your ABC?
What pleases you
Is what pleases me.
Helpful is what
I like to be."

For those of us in constant battle with the please, may I and thank yous, tales like "Don't be Grabby, Gorilla" and "Fair and Square, Says the Hare" told in catchy rhyme will help drive the point home. Lots of fun detail in the illustrations from a seal flying a glider plane (and riding a motorcycle, go figure) to a giraffe in plaid shorts to a pair of song birds playing rummy, there's lots of animal kingdom hilarity to take in, enough for endless reads and then some.


Ali said...

Looks darling. Any fun book about manners is a hit in my book.

We read "Don't talk to strangers" again last night and loved it all over again. So fun...

Antmusic said...

I haven't seen much besides his black and white work, but I do have a Little Orphan Annie children's picture book written by James Howe (of Bunnicula fame) that he illustrated: "Annie Joins the Circus"

This is the fist time I've seen this one though.

Victoria Stitch said...

I love all the little details in this!

ScandianvianMum said...

Gosh, this brings back memories!

Love from Bianca,

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