Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oh, What a Busy Day!

Oh, What a Busy Day
Gyo Fujikawa ~ Grosset & Dunlap, 1976

Oh oh oh, how this book influenced me as a girl. Such intense childhood memories that I almost can't look at it without crying. Wouldn't be the first Gyo book that's sent me spiraling back to my youth in waves of tears. Recently reissued by B&N's Sterling imprint, the poems and stories are priceless and each page is filled with the color and black and white illustrations that made Gyo a children's book legend. The pictures are so full of life and movement, each one with plenty of subdrama within.

One story (and its accompanying drawings) still makes my heart weep... those poor babes in the woods.

My dear, do you know,
How a long time ago,
Two little children,
Whose names I don't know,
Were stolen away,
On a fine summer's day,
And left in a wood,
as I've heard people say.

All those familiar will know that soon the two become lost and lay down and die in the chill of the night, covered with leaves by forest animals. Based loosely on a true story, that tale always haunted me when I was wee... and probably haunts me even more as a mother.

Also by:
A Child's Garden of Verses
A Child's Book of Poems
Let's Grow a Garden
Baby Animals
Our Best Friends
Come Follow me
Fairy Tales and Fables


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You Can Call Me Jane said...

Oh What A Busy Day does the same thing to me! I remember staring for hours at the children in the mud pit, trying to imagine what that would be like and what their mothers would say when they got home:-).

Powerful memories, indeed.

And for that boy, I will pray.

Unknown said...

scribs...i had completely forgotten this book. this was my absolute favorite. i'm so glad you reviewed it...i'm getting a copy. now. xoxo

l said...

I just found this lovely book at our local thrift store and brought it home! I was attracted by the illustrations and thought my youngest dd would love it too!

Laura Ottina said...

Very sweet illustrations... and yes, I so hope the little boy is safe and they find him soon

Cole's Corner said...

I love anything by Gyo!

Dave Rattigan said...

I love love LOVE this book.

Read it lots as a child, and bought it again a few years ago - I think after seeing mention of it on this site.

Many a time in the last couple years I've sat with my nephews and nieces on my lap, poring over its pages. So much to see and think about in every picture. I think the thing that makes it truly special for children is that somewhere in every picture there's someone or something they can identify with.

Carin Siegfried said...

Did you know that two other Sterling is reissuing 2 other Fujikawas now too? Puppies, Pussycats and Other Friends, and Let's Play. I adore Babies.

Lori Lou said...

I loved this book so much!

Amy Taracido said...

OH MY DEAR GOODNESS, I have been looking for this book for my whole adult life and I just discovered the title and images of the book for the first time tonight, after only having slivers of memories of the book in my head from the 1970s/1980s when I was very very young! I didn't even know the title, let alone the author, but I remembered images in my head, and I remembered it having Fuzzy Wuzzy in it, and a treehouse, etc......a few months ago I found "A Child's Book of Poems" at the bookstore and the artwork IMMEDIATELY made my heart stop, I KNEW that artwork had to be similar to the book I had as a child. Tonight I picked up the poems book again to admire it and I said what the heck and I did a search for the author. Through trial and error I FINALLY found this title and images!!! I am SOOOOOO happy!!!

Burgin Streetman said...

Great to hear Amy!

Jorgelina said...

Awwwwwwww!!! Seeing this post gave me goosebumps! I have this book since I was little and remember hours of reading and playing with it! My sister and I used to pick kids "I'm her!" And then we'd talk about it. I'm 35 now and my niece and nephew do the same we used to do. Thank you for sharing it!

AKA Jane Random said...

This is my absolute favorite children's book ever. I paid boocoodles of money for it on Ebay three times and now they've re-released it.

NainaDG said...

I found your blog while searching for Gyo Fujikawa images and used one one my blog and I have credited and linked you back. Hope thats okay?

More importantly, I'm so glad I found your blog!!!! I have a few vintage books that I want to collect for my son, but your blog has opened up a whole new world!! I can't wait to explore more

Pipa said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post! This was my favourite book and I lost track of it when I was 10. I didn't know the name of the author so I thought I would never set eyes on this beautiful illustrations again! You made my day!

irishgirl23 said...

I just purchased this book for my 3 year old niece. The illustrations are just amazing and they remind me of my childhood. We have had conversations about naughty things kids in the book have done and my niece will not be hearing about the children who died in the woods. I was honestly very puzzled by that page and wondered how it was relevant to the book. I can't wait to collect Gyo's other books. I've seen some tattered copies at Good will and recently picked up a mint "Babies" ,which my niece loves. I thinking actually endears her to her baby brother. You grew my love of children's book thrifting! Currently hunting for Elizabeth Koda Callan books from the early nineties.

Barbara said...

Hello, I just recently purchased a re-issue of this book. I only have some memories of it as a child. Could you please tell me if the original book has all colour illustrations or are some pages also in black and white? Thanks so much! Barbara

ErinLeigh said...

Hi Barbara! Yes, some pages are in black & white.

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