Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tell Me a Mitzi

Tell Me a Mitzi
Lore Segal ~ pictures by Harriet Pincus
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1970

There's more than a little R. Crumb in these drawings, evoking a wonderful Lower East Side kind of New York vibe in both the architecture and the slight whimsical grump in the character's faces. Tell me a "Mitzi" refers to stories told by a mother about a little girl of the same name who is full of independence and spunk.

Once upon a time (said her mother) there was a Mitzi. She had a mother and a father and a brother who was a baby. His name was Jacob.

There are three outlandish tales here, Mitzi Takes a Taxi, Mitzi Sneezes, and Mitzi Meets the President. In the first, the Mitzi wakes up to find everyone in her home asleep, so she decides to take her little brother on a trip to see her grandparents, alone... only to be thwarted because she doesn't know their address. In the second, a cold is passed around Mitzi's entire family, and in the last, well, Mitzi meets the President and is gifted some chewing gum.

All three stories are delightfully pointless, staying otherworldly while exuding a somber everydayness. Reminds me alot of Uri Shulvitz's One Monday Morning. I love these sorts of illustrations... the dark, tight lines and bright colors. Perfect for this cold winter day.


Anonymous said...

I love this book, and your description - "delightfully pointless". This was one of my kids' very favorites!

Anonymous said...

hello! just discovered your site through a blogger friend. charming! thank you for sharing all these lovely books and stories. kenza

Jenny said...

I had forgotten all about this book...but I loved it as a child! This is a wonderful blog - I added it to my Google Reader subscriptions immediately!

Anonymous said...

My kids loved this book! I remembered it as a child in school, so when I happened across a copy while pregnant with my second child, I wasted not a second in buying it! Having used cloth diapers and rubber pants on my children all through their babyhood, my kids related to Mitzi, changing her baby brothers diapers and rubber pants in the crib!


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