Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Little Old Man

A Little Old Man
Natalie Norton ~ Will Huntington
Rand McNally, 1959


I wish I had childhood memories of this book. It seems like the type that would stick with you. Growing up in hurricane country, I always had dreams as a child about the beach and tidal waves and storms, so this really would've hit home.

Once there was a little old man who lived in a little house on a little island in the middle of the great big ocean. He lived all by himself. He was a smiling little old man with no hair at all on the top of his head. But he did have a nice white beard. Every day after he had washed himself and dressed himself, he cooked his own breakfast. He thought it would be fun if he has someone to eat with.

More specifically, a cat. He dreams of cats and fixes his roof and tends his garden until one day a giant storm rolls along and sweeps his house out into the ocean. Thankfully it sweeps in a nice little boat all clean and neat and stocked and inhabited by, you guessed it, a cat! And kittens!!! Nobody ever does come looking for the boat, and the man and his feline brood live happily ever after.

Sweet, sweet story with these wonderfully-fuzzy, color pencil drawings. Here is when a simple story works best, with strong illustrations and an uncomplicated narrative.

Gotta love a story book that ends... And the little old man was never sad or lonely again. Here, here.



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10 comments:

Read Aloud Dad said...

You are right, this seems to be a book that is unforgettable for kids.

The art is beautiful!

Thanks for sharing!

Read Aloud Dad

Christina Rodriguez said...

I love how the little old man is depicted. He's old and wrinkly, but still cuddly. It can be hard, as an illustrator, to draw old people without getting too carried away with the wrinkles.

Kimberly said...

I'd love to read this and Little Boy Brown to my kids. These are just the most recent additions to our reading list from your website. Unfortunately, our county library system doesn't have either one. I felt generally satisfied with our library until discovering how few of the books you review are available there!

Matt Gray said...

This book stands out more than any other from when I was child. My grandmother used to alway read it to me and I remeber it being worn out and tattered. Glad I found it on here, I plan on ordering for my daughter! I've never been able to get the image of the "little old man" hanging on to the tree out of my head.

sunnybrookgal said...

My 3 year old daughter loves this book. Her favorite part is when the cats come out from under the stove for the first time. We have to re-read all of the Prrrrts sounds that they make at least a dozen times or more before we can pass that page (and sometimes we have to flip back and do it again before the book is done). Definitely one that will stick in her memory.

Anonymous said...

i read this book as a child and still have my very battered copy. you are correct to think it makes very strong impressions on young readers. i've been watching for that little old man my whole life in hopes that he'll share his happiness.

Anonymous said...

My mother would read this book to me every night when I was a child and it was my favorite story. I'm grown up now and have my own child and to my surprise she saved the book for me after all these years so I can read it with my daughter. It's still my favorite book and I love to read it to her. It has a sentimental value that can not be replaced...

Anonymous said...

Can I buy it ?? A Little Old Man
I would really like Two as I read this book to two grandsons long ago--& they have mentioned it occationally.
If you do not sell it could you tell me where I could get it . Pleases & Thank you
chinapainter@shaw.ca

Anonymous said...

This was my favorite book as a child. I've been looking for it for the last 20 years as I so badly wanted to share it with my own children. I cannot thank you enough for displaying it here! Brings back such good memories!

Miss Emma said...

I'm only 19, but I grew up with this book! In fact, it was my favorite! As a painter, I'm wanting to do a painting inspired by the boat/storm from this book. Its been hard to find online, but thanks for posting pictures! It brings back a lot of happy memories!

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