Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Quarreling Book

The Quarreling Book
Charlotte Zolotow ~ Arnold Lobel ~ Harper & Row, 1963

More Charlotte Zolotow? Why the hell not.

Now, if you've never been to Charlotte's website (maintained by her daughter), I highly suggest a visit. The main page opens with this little bit of information

Charlotte turned 92 in June 2007. She has some major disabilities; she lives at home, in the same home she has lived in for 50 years, with a round-the-clock caregiver, a lovely woman from Ghana. She is wheelchair-bound, close to blind, and pretty mad about it (understandably). But she has no illnesses or diseases, and though she is sometimes forgetful these days, her memories about writing, editing, and the children's book world are very clear.

If that's not an invitation into a world of awesomeness, I don't know what is. That would make her 96 this year, bless her heart. Thankfully, even after all these years, this ditty of a book is still in print. A small, black and white gem, it just goes to show you how one bad mood can be contagious...

It was a rainy gray morning, and Mr. James forgot to kiss Mrs. James good-bye when he left for the office. Mrs. James felt quite cross because of this and because the rain made the day so gray. So when Jonathan James came down for breakfast, she was sharp with him.

You see where this is headed as the bad mood passes from one person to another. Fear not good readers, what goes around comes around. As fast as a harsh word can ruin our day, a tussle with a snugly friend can send it reeling back in the right direction.

Arnold Lobel is particularly silly and adorable here, creating characters with emotions that range from annoyance to rage to giggles to joy, all in the span of a few pages.

Ten thumbs down, THEN ten thumbs up!

Also by:
I Have a Horse of My Own
The Hating Book
Flocks of Birds
Do You Know What I'll Do?
The Sky Was Blue
a rose, a bridge, and a wild black horse
When I Have a Little Girl
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
Martha the Movie Mouse
Terry and the Caterpillars
The Strange Disappearance of Arthur Cluck


Read along on Facebook, tumblr, Twitter, and Etsy!


AKA Jane Random said...

Beautiful! I've never seen this book!

Sparkleneely said...

Okay, first off -- I love your blog. Second of all, you just solved a 35 year old mystery for me! One of my favorite books as a kid was what I thought was called, "The Hate Book." I have looked and looked and looked, but no luck. I clicked on today's entry thinking, "That looks like it!" It wasn't it, but then I found the link to your post from 2008: "The HATING Book." THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! You have made me so happy! :)

Burgin Streetman said...

awesome... i didn't think about them being related really... yay!

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