Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Hopping Bunny

My Hopping Bunny
Robert Bright
~ Doubleday & Co., 1960

I think it is safe to say that this is positively the cutest story ever, EVER published. You bookish types will know Mr. Bright from his infamous Georgie series following the after-life of a curious but shy child... Here the boy is quite alive and made even more lively by a peppy rabbit he can't quiet keep up with. OOOOooooooow, the words are positively adorable. Check it.

I went to the store,
I had some money.
I bought myself
A hopping bunny.
I marched in the field
And blew my horn.
My bunny hopped over
A shock of corn.
I ran to the meadow
To tumble and play.
My bunny hopped over
A stack of hay.

It basically goes on like this--snappy little rhymes illustrated with sweet black and white sketches showing just a hit of red--until the bunny jumps too high and lands on the moon. Moral of the story? It's good to be bouncy, but sometimes it's possible to hop too high. Oh my goodness is this book full of cute. Two paws up!

Also by:
Georgie's Halloween


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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Otter Nonsense

Norton Juster and Eric Carle
Philomel Books, 1982

Ha! With summer usurping all of my blog time, I should just call this "Taking It Easy Tuesday"... Fans of The Phantom Tollbooth and all things Eric Carle will love these exceptional animal puns and wacky word plays. Wonderful line drawings illustrate this series of sillies from the genius that brought us such incredible banter as...

"You're on the Island of Conclusions."

"But how did we get here?" asked Milo.

"You jumped, of course," explained Canby. "That's the way most everyone gets here. It's really quite simple: every time you decide something without having a good reason, you jump to Conclusions whether you like it or not. It's such an easy trip to make that I've been here hundreds of times."

"But this is such an unpleasant looking place," Milo remarked.

"Yes, that's true," admitted Canby; "it does look much better from a distance."

Phantom Tollbooth slays me every time! But seriously, folks... Anything involving animals doing human things cracks my son up.... otterly hilarious!


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Monday, June 28, 2010

Great Monday Give: Where the Wild Things Are

It's late in the afternoon. A rainstorm is brewing. Summer is getting set to cry. Before the day ends and some readers anarchy, let me say this... DO see Toy Story 3 this week. Do read to your child. And do enter to win YET another paperback copy of the Sendak classic Where the Wild Things Are... just because I always have too many hanging around. Yes, it's the day of the Great Monday Give where I give vintage or reprints of vintage books away to one lucky reader and all you have to do to be entered to win is comment on this post between now and Sunday at 11:59 pm, July 4. DO IT!!!!!!!!

And now... to announce the winner of last week's give.... the Grab Box of awesomeness with a record 92 commenters.... Drum roll and other things that make lots of noise and get attention... Caryn the Designer. Simply e-mail me your address and I'll be shipping these off to you as soon as the rain lets up.

Sorry so late, but you know how it is.... Monday is the bomb!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tommy Visits the Doctor

Tommy Visits the Doctor
Jean H. Seligmann, Milton I Levine, M.D. and Richard Scarry
Golden Press, 1962

Sleepy Thursday. Summer. Camps. No time. That said, enjoy some quick scans of an early Richard Scarry (a boy and a rabbit get corresponding office visits)... before I run out the door, again.

Also by:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Chipmunk's ABC
Great Big Air Book
Rabbit and His Friends
The Bunny Book
Richard Scarry's Best Rainy Day Book Ever
I Am a Bunny


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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Considering we've been listening to this nonstop on audio book (over and over and over) since school let out, my son is just going to die when we see the trailer at Toy Story 3 this weekend. Seriously.

The Great Cookie Thief

Emily Perl Kingsley ~ Michael J. Smollin
A Golden Shape Book, 1977

Another silly lowbrow... as you all know I'm a sucker for vintage Muppets. This was first a skit that aired on Sesame Street in 1971, later reprised in book form by the previously mentioned illustrator of There's a Monster at the End of This Book and the author of one of my favorite Sesame Street titles as a kid, The Sesame Street Pet Show. (I had it in book and record form and that's one of the holy grail items I hope to find before the boy gets too old. He continues to dig his book and record How To Be A Grouch, so there's still time!)

The skit takes place in a western bar where a WANTED sign hangs for the infamous, Great Cookie Thief... but when the real Cookie Thief (Cookie Monster, surprise!) shows up, the locals use their skills of deductive reasoning to ascertain his identity. An all-time great Sesame Street ditty, one that my son asks to watch over and over again from his Old School collection.

Already Narnia and Hogwarts are monopolizing my son's free time. As the magical Sesame Street-aged window closes on us--and though I've been able to keep my son from the red fiend known as Elmo--I'll lament the day when my old Bird Bird and Grover videos head to the attic for good. Sad that my son only met Mr. Green Jeans once, in a fleeting YouTube video. But hey, I can't expect the boy to relive my entire childhood, can I?

Other Old Sesame Street Titles:
Sherlock Hemlock and the Great Twiddlebug Mystery
Grover and the Everything in the Whole Wide World Museum
The In and Out and All About Sesame Street Coloring Book
The Together Book
The Many Faces of Ernie
Sesame Street 1,2,3 Storybook
The Amazing Mumford and His Amazing Subtracting Trick
The Sesame Street Bedtime Storybook


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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Magical Drawings of Moony B. Finch

The Magical Drawings of Moony B. Finch
David McPhail
~ Doubleday, 1978

I will admit a huge soft stop for this man's drawings, made even more squishy by the fact that this has to be somewhat of a fantastical autobiography for the artist himself.Moony B. Finch loved to draw. For his second birthday he was given a box of crayons. After that, he spent most of his time drawing pictures. He drew and drew and the more he drew the better he got. Moony would draw pictures even when he didn't have any paper. In the summer, at the beach, he drew pictures in the sand with a stick. And in the winter, he grew giant pictures in the snow with his feet. He drew things inside and he drew things outside. He drew things he saw and he drew things he imagined. Moony had an eraser that he called his just-in-case eraser. He never used it, but he always carried it with him just in case he ever needed it.From here, the story gets pretty magical when the boy (or rather some greedy strangers) discover that his drawings come to life when touched. In the end, the artist prevails and his handy-dandy eraser (with a little help from a dragon) saves the day.With a dedication to one Ernest H. Shepard, it makes my heart melt thinking of little Mr. McPhail falling in love with the drawings of Winnie the Pooh and wanting to be an artist, too. A dear, sweet book, from a dear sweet artist whose scratchy faced boys have always enchanted me.

Also by:
The Bear's Toothache
The Bear's Bicycle

Monday, June 21, 2010

Miss Esta Maude's Secret

Miss Esta Maude's Secret
story and pictures by W. T. Cummings
McGraw-Hill, 1961

One of those books people always ask me about but I'd never set eyes on until I scored it at a library sale a while back. It's a book that tends to be worth a lot of money when you can find it, and on the first read it was obvious why it would've stuck in the minds of so many children decade after decade. I have no idea who this author is or why this book is so highly collectible, but the story is unforgettable. It's kinda like if Batman was an old woman and instead of a lot of superpower-enabling devices, she just has a really, really fast car.

Esta Maude drove a little black car. Everyone in town called it "Miss Esta Maude's Machine." She never drove over fifteen miles an hour and obeyed every traffic rule. "What a dull life Miss Esta Maude must have!" everyone said. If Esta Maude heard them she just smiled -- because Esta Maude had a secret.

Well, the little school teacher's secret is that Miss Esta Maude likes to drive very, VERY fast in a little red racing car she keeps hidden away in her barn. In the wee hours of the night, she revs up and takes off on adventures that save sheep and lost little children and women in labor. Secret identities are AWESOME and even more awesome if you imagine your teacher to have one.

Doecdoe posted on another book by this author, The Girl in the White Hat, but I couldn't find any information on the artist. If anyone has any info on this book or perhaps even a scan of the dust jacket, I'd be much obliged. (A guess: W.T. is E.E.'s pen name and this was his swan song? Maybe it's even a long lost brother. Ha! Wouldn't that be sweet.)

Also by:
The Kid

Great Monday Give: Surprise Grab Box cont...

The Summer kick-off Great Monday Give is still up for grabs.... a mystery box of all kinds of vintage book goodies, hand picked by yours truly. To be entered to win, simply leave a comment on the post from last week (click here) before June 27, Sunday at 11:59 PM sharp. A winner will be selected at random and announced the next day. Good luck!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Little Kittens' Nursery Rhymes

The Little Kittens' Nursery Rhymes
photographs by Harry Whittier Frees
Rand McNally Co., 1959

Just because it's Friday, and I can.

"Pussycat, pussycat,
Where have you been?"
"I've been to London
To look at the Queen."
"Pussycat, pussycat,
What did you there?"
"I frightened a little mouse
Under her chair."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Gingerbread Man

The Gingerbread Man
illustrated by Bonnie and Bill Rutherford
Golden Press, 1963

This past Tuesday, Bill Rutherford died at 89 years old. According to his obituary, he was an artist, an insurance salesman, a loving husband to Bonnie and a father of four, a grandfather of 11 and a great-grandfather of six. I adored this book when I was little, as I'm sure countless other children did way back when. Today, I raise a glass and tip my hat to a life well-loved and a legacy that will live on in the hearts of his own children as well as the children he did not know, whose lives he touched all the same. Rest in peace, my friend.

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