Monday, March 19, 2012

The Circus ~ Kitten Nell

The Circus
Kitten Nell
Dick Bruna ~ Follett, both published 1963
English translation on both by Sandra Greifenstein

Wow. After spring break and a sick dog and traveling and helping post-op family, the books I've been wanting to review are - literally - piling up around my desk. I spent spring break reading to my son from the first edition James and the Giant Peach I scored in Seattle. I've read that story to him at least five times, but was happy that now he will finally have those wonderful illustrations associated with it in his memory bank. The thing was in serious mint condition when I bought it five days ago and already it's in noticeably lesser condition, but who cares! I really just wanted it for my son to enjoy forever.

That said, I'll start the Great Monday Give back up next week, but in the meantime, I'm just happy that the world is back to normal for a while. I wanted to start this week by celebrating that happiness with two Dick Bruna's I've been saving to share.

The first is "A Toy Box Tale" aptly entitled The Circus and features a rhyming ditty about all the things you're bound to see under the big top.

Here stands the painted circus tent.
Its six bright flags are blowing.
They're waving all the people in,
And everybody's going.

Meet the circus master and his marvelous medley of wonders. Monkeys on bicycles! A tightrope walker! Lions and elephants and seals, oh my! The Dutchman Bruna always pleases with his bold color and primary flair for whimsy.

The second is the strange story of a psychedelic-eyed kitten who dreams of becoming an American Indian.

Nell was a different kitten,
A different kind of cat...

The pictures are sweetly interesting and the cat surreal, but I can't imagine this book would ever get reprinted, at least in the US, for its antiquated stereotypes. It, too, is "A Toy Box Tale", a series of books published by Follett that helped introduce the US to the eventual cult hero. All of his books are charming and complete eye candy to look at. I only wish I'd found more of them when my son was wee.

Also by:
Kind Little Joe


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