Monday, January 11, 2010

Jack Kent's Book of Nursery Tales

Jack Kent's Book of Nursery Tales
Jack Kent ~ Random House, 1970

I've been coveting this book at one of my local used book haunts for at least six months. Looking longingly at its pages, all the while wishing it didn't have a big, fat $20 price tag on the cover.

I hated that price tag.
I wished it away secretly in my mind.
Evil price tag. Ugh.

Thank goodness, my private wishes didn't go unheard. Enter the after-Christmas markdown season and the appearance of a nice new $4.95 tag placed over top. She is mine! Life is good.By now you should all know that we are definitely a "crazy for Jack Kent" household. The shear size and awesomeness of this book immediately shot it to the top of the reading heap. Great little stories keeping true to their original tales. The Gingerbread Man. Chicken Little. The Little Red Hen. Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I love reading The Three Little Pigs versions when two of the little pigs actually get eaten. As it should be, lazy little oinkers! Plus, it includes a story I'd never read before called The Husband Who Tried to Keep House about a man who thinks he works harder than his wife...There was a man so mean and cross that he never thought his wife did anything right in the house. He said he could do more work in a day than his wife could do in three.

...and the lessons he learns when they switch places for a day. Ha!

Possibly the best part are the end pages, where Kent maps his story land, not unlike the 1933 gem by Jarod Hess. (Those of you who read Design Mom might remember my sad story. I bought an original print of the poster in OK condition off of eBay for a friend's birthday for $15 not realizing I'd never be able to get another one for myself at that price. Oh well. At least I get an eyeball full of its vintage splendor when I go to her house, and maybe someday I'll splurge for a reproduction.) I love imagining a world where different storybook characters all live in harmony (or not) right down the road from each other. How cool would that be?

Also by:
Jack Kent's Twelve Days of Christmas
I Was Walking Down the Road
The Grown-Up Day
The Fox and the Crow
The Biggest Shadow in the Zoo
The Animobile Book
Dooly and the Snortsnoot
Mr. Meebles
Cindy Lou and the Witch's Dog
Clotilda
The Blah
Jack Kent's Valentine Sticker Book
The Bremen-town Musicians
Round Robin
Just Only John
Fly Away Home
Fat Cat
Piggy Bank Gonzales
Socks for Supper

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7 comments:

conuly said...

It has a version of John Grumlie in it? Cool! (There are many versions of that song, but they all have the same moral in the end, of course.)

(Word of the verification? Prelve. Like dig and delve, but, you know, prelve.)

Scribbler said...

no way!?! i didn't know that was a song... that's awesome!

Ali said...

I do so love Jack Kent...

Amy R. W. said...

I got this book as a gift when I was a baby and I love it so much!

It's got my favorite version of The Three Little Pigs (that brick house is so adorable!) and of The Gingerbread Man (the very end is so funny the way the whole town walks away as if to say "Well, OK then....")

And yes, those endpapers are so beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Do you have any old book with "scary" illustrations of the wolf or the fox eating pigs/humans/birds ?


Tom

Anonymous said...

I adore(d) this book - as a child though I scribbled all over page 19 - that starts (Now the grain was ready to be ground into flour.....) - any chance you could put the whole page on your fabulous web-page?

maryann said...

I would snatch one up for $20 without thinking twice. (Jack Kent's Book of Nursery Tales) My son was born in 1968 I borrowed that book from the library when he was very young still a pre schooler and knew we had to own it. So I special ordered it from a bookstore at the time. After six kids and it was always a favorite the book is worn to a frazzle. I am looking for one for grand kids now. Why do all the favorite books go out of print?

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