Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Mellops Go Spelunking

The Mellops Go Spelunking
Tomi Ungerer ~ Harper, 1963

Phaidon (the wonderful publisher who brought us the Ungerer reprints of Moon Man, The Three Robbers and Adelaide) is reissuing the Mellops' series, just in time for Christmas. October will see the return of The Mellops Strike Oil, The Mellops Go Diving for Treasure and Christmas Eve at the Mellops'. I noticed Spelunking wasn't on the list, so I figured I'd better dig it up in advance. (The only Mellops I don't have is the first one, The Mellops Go Flying, in case any of you library sale trawlers want to know what to get me for Christmas.)

I haven't met a child yet who won't fall in the love with the Mellops if given the chance. The stories follow a family of pigs who were going on delightful Wes Andersonesque adventures long before Mr. Anderson was even born. Each tale is unique, but offers endearing character traits that follow from book to book.

One day Mr. Mellop lost a golf ball in a crevice.
"What is down there?" asked his son Isidor.
"Let's go spelunking and find out," replied Father.
"Go what?" asked Isador.
"Spelunking," repeated Mr. Mellop.
"That means cave exploring."

Indeed, it does. Soon, Father and his troop of boy piglets -- Felix, Casimir, Ferdinand and Isador -- are packed and ready to go to "the darkest place they had ever seen." Stalagmites and stalactites, cave paintings and ancient artifacts are awesome, but it is when the cave floods and the family discovers barrels of smuggled perfume that things get super exciting.

Of course, all's well that ends well, and there's no better way to celebrate the foiling of an evil plan than Mother's whipped cream pie.

Pig out!

I'm so happy these little squealers will be back in rotation.

Also by:
I Am Papa Snap and These Are My Favorite No Such Stories
The Mellops Strike Oil
Zarelda's Ogre
Seeds and More Seeds
The Three Robbers
Moon Man
Orlando The Brave Vulture
Christmas Eve at the Mellops'
The Beast of Monsieur Racine
Book of Various Owls
The Hat
Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls


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Melissa@Julias Bookbag said...

FANTASTIC! Spelunking pigs can do no wrong in my book! These are going on the Must Find List stat.

Cristiana C. said...

Thank you for talking about this book, it's one of my favorite by Ungerer!!

K-Fai Steele said...

I had the pleasure of interviewing Tomi Ungerer this past June when he came to Philadelphia. He's as creative and amazing as you think he would be:

Erin said...

I also am an Ungerer fan, although my admiration for him only recently developed. I was lucky enough to see him at the Eric Carle museum in Amherst, MA when his illustrations were featured in an exhibit there. :)

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