Monday, August 8, 2011

Bright Lights to See By

Bright Lights to See By
Miriam Anne Bourne ~ Marilyn Hafner
Coward McCann & Geoghegan, 1975

Monday without a Give finds me looking at this chapter book and wondering exactly what it is about it that appeals to me so much. A funny little story about the conversion to electric light. We meet the folks at Littlefield's Hotel (wee Maggie and her Uncle Ned) who are making the leap into light, much to the chagrin of Mr. Vogel, a competing hotel owner whose guests (he says) "prefer soft gaslight... makes everything look prettier".

All goes well with the transfer, but on the night of the hotel's big stage show...

As Uncle Ned pulled the chain on the last elegant light fixture, every room in the hotel was thrown into darkness. For a moment there was silence. Then lady guests began to titter. Gentlemen guests guffawed and kidded Maggie's father. "Mr. Vogel was right," boomed Mr. Morris. "Should have stuck to gas. Your fancy electrics don't work at all Mr. Littlefield."

As they say, the show must go on, and the folks at Littlefield's Hotel pull it together just in time to give their guests a finale they won't soon forget.

An innocent story with fun two-color ink drawings with a dainty brown that almost looks like coffee stains. Delightful.


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Gaston Caba said...

Having the chance to see this beautiful book counts as "Monday Give" anyway !!

Antmusic said...

Those are some Great illustrations... A touch of Gorey in there. I think I've only seen this illustrator in our Prelutsky books.

Bob Logan said...

Interesting post. I wonder if Carson Ellis was inspired by this cover for the Mysterious Benedict Society (book one:cover)?

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