Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Am Papa Snap and These Are My Favorite No Such Stories

I Am Papa Snap and These Are My Favorite No Such Stories
Tommy Ungerer ~ Harper & Row, 1971

I mentioned finding this book at a Goodwill a few weeks ago on the post I did on Curious Pages. I just now got around to photographing some of the drawings, so today is as good as any to get the review in. First off, the title kills me. The idea of a "No Such" story is hilarious. So good, I wish I'd thought of it. Second, all things Ungerer kill in this house, so even without the witty premise it still would have rocked. And rock it does, my friends. A handful of gorgeously absurd illustrations with equally meaninglessly yet funny tales. Take for instance the sad story of Mr. Slop Glut.

When Mr. Slop Glut visits his favorite restaurant he orders everything on the menu. The other night he put on so much weight during his meal that he crashed through the floor on his way out.

Or this existentialist groundhog (?) ...

Everyday, rain, shine or overcast, he walks down to the shore. He sits on a rock to read or dream. He has no friends, no enemies. He lives in peace. No one knows anything about him. Not even his name.

If nothing else, this book is a huge can of worms for children, begging both giggles and questions with each melancholy tale.

Really, kiddos get so much of the humdrum and the everyday, well, in everyday. As parents, our job should be to expose them to as many different vantage points in life as we can. Only then can the next generations begin to evolve and expand their world views. For this, Ungerer is one of the masters. He let his freak flag fly big time, and we are all the better for it.

Also by:
The Hat
The Mellops Strike Oil
Seeds and More Seeds
The Three Robbers
Moon Man
Zarelda's Ogre
Orlando The Brave Vulture
Christmas Eve at the Mellops'
Crictor
The Beast of Monsieur Racine
Allumette
Emile
Book of Various Owls
Rufus
Adelaide

5 comments:

caryn the designer said...

Looks delightful! Have you seen "Snail, Where are You?" by Ungerer? I stumbled upon it at a used bookstore while traveling over Thanksgiving and fell in love with it. Beautiful illustrations as always, very comical and few words. It is lovely!

Angelica said...

So much fun! I am going to put this on my list of books to find!

Scribbler said...

i haven't seen snail yet, but it is on my list... sadly, nearly everything is on my list. sigh.

simonsterg said...

I just clicked on one of my blog's links to yours...
http://simonsterg.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/the-three-robbers/
and here is... Tomi Ungerer!
Not one I know, but to investigate...

Anonymous said...

This book rules - have had it since I was a kid and it remains my favorite of all time. Thanks for posting, always good to see some other people out there who are into it.

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