Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Holiday for Mister Muster

A Holiday for Mister Muster
Arnold Lobel ~ Harper & Row, 1963

It's hard to understand why any of Lobel's books ever fell out-of-print. Consistently, he's one of those children's book authors who everybody loves. I seriously doubt anyone has a low opinion of him and that is reflected in the solid five star ratings his books get all over the internet. There is nothing divisive about his work. It is simple, innocent and true. There isn't a rainy day reading one his books won't fix. Always a sure thing. Never hit or miss.

Which brings me to today. Here, we have the follow-up to A Zoo for Mister Muster, a book which I, sadly, do not possess. The illustrations are full of so much raw, unfiltered joy, it's hard not to chuckle just looking at the cover. The smile on the snake, in particular, is magic.

There were sneezes and sore throats at the zoo. All the animals had very bad head colds. Mister Muster, the zookeeper, was worried and telephoned the doctor. The doctor came and gave pills and cough syrup to everyone. "These animals have been sitting in their cramped cages for too long," said the doctor. "They need exercise and fresh salt air."

Now, imagine packing a picnic lunch at the seaside for all the animals in a zoo... no small task. Then you have to hire a bus. Then you have a great day at the beach, only to spy an amusement park across the way... Before you know it, those animals are having so much fun, they never wanna go back to the zoo, and it's up to Mister Muster to formulate a plan to get the animals home. Whew.

Another keeper from a timeless talent. Plus, any person who would dedicate a book "for the birds" is a saint in my son's eyes.

Also by:
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
The Quarreling Book
The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight


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Melissa@Julias Bookbag said...

AAAAAAH! There's another book about Mister Muster?? HAPPY DAY! I checked out 'A Zoo for Mister Muster' a few months ago and Julia and I both just looooved it. Gotta go get this one.

Lobel was such a genius.

Lorri said...

I love your description of this book - I think I have found a new author that I will love. Thanks for the post!

stephanie said...

We need to get together; I have A Zoo for Mister Muster, but have been looking for this one. LOVE. I found it interesting how cartoony these first books of his were. In "The Frogs and Toads All Sang" his daughter indicates that he was simply following the "popular norm" in the 60's and in the 70's you saw more of his true style. Arnold Lobel was simply one of the best.

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