Friday, August 20, 2010


Arnold Lobel ~ Harper and Row, 1964

Sorry I've been MIA, but man, do you know how hard it is to find shoes for boys that are not horrifically ugly? I try and be thrifty and go everywhere and look at everything that's available, only to end up back at Whole Earth Provision shelling out $40-plus for shoes the boy will outgrow in a few months. That said, though it stings at first, it's always the right decision in the end to have cute, licensed character-free, eco-happy shoes to style in. Aren't they adorable? But we aren't here to talk about back-to-school or shoes.... we're here to talk about books, and since my son and I will be attending the evening performance of A Year with Frog and Toad, I figured today was a good day to reach into the Lobel archives and give the man some always-deserved love. Here we find a workhorse, Lucille, who is tired of being "dull and dirty"... that is, until one day, when the farmer's wife takes her under her wing... and while we're on shoes...

"Tomorrow we are going shopping in town," she says. Lucille takes the farmer and his wife to town. She sees a hat with pink roses in a store window. The farmer's wife buys the hat for Lucille. She sees many shiny shoes in a store window. The farmer's wife buys four shiny shoes for Lucille.

Pretty soon Lucille is all dolled up and far too fancy to work in the fields. But a life of skirts and tea parties and ladylike manners is not always what it's cracked up to be in this classic tale of the grass-is-always-greener. Now that the boy is reading in earnest, I've been clinging to these wonderful "An I Can Read Books" more than ever. The older ones are the perfect, hardcover size and the stories and illustrations almost always delightful. Kindergarten starts Monday and the boy's teacher has no idea of the tidal wave of books that are about to monsoon upon her. This one, however, I'm keeping for us.

Also by:
The Terrible Tiger
Red Tag Comes Back
The Ice-Cream Cone Coot
Oscar Otter
The Star Thief
Mouse Tales
Prince Bertram the Bad
The Secret Three
Benny's Animals
Miss Suzy


Read along on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy!

7 comments: said...

Love Arnold Lobel! I had not seen this book before. Where are your best places to find vintage books?

Lumikko said...

I just loved Frog and Toad when I was a child! They were called Kurnu and Loikka in Finnish; "kurnu" refers to the noice frogs make, "loikka" to the way they . I wish I still had those books, but apparently my mother has thrown them away :(

Love your blog, btw!

Lumikko from Finland

Anonymous said...

I had never heard of this one either. But the story is a great take on the grass is always greener on the other side, like you said. Thanks for the share.

Mitzi said...

Thanks for this post! My stomach flip-flopped with excitement when I saw it. I remember this book as a child, but could not remember the title. I only remembered the plot. NOW I can search for a copy. Thank you so much for sharing this one.

Kimberly said...

Looks like a darling book, and I love your son's new shoes!

Paula said...

I loved this one as a child. I am also not a fan of the licensed characters on shoes...yuck. We ended up with Keen's for our little man for the summer...not so pretty but they are they are still going strong.

Femi Ford said...

OMG! i am loving your site! this is like the 5th book i had forgotten about until i saw the pics. i'm just starting to build my kids' a libary of books and i hope to get this one in there soon!

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