The Little Old Man Who Could Not Read
Irma Simonton Black ~ Seymour Fleishman ~ Parents' Magazine Press, 1968
Imagine living in a world where you could not read. Then imagine what a nightmare something as simple as shopping for groceries could become. Told with humor and grace, it is very much a silly children's story littered with mishap and fun, while still driving home the very frightening reality that illiteracy creates.
Once there was a little old man who could not read. He just never wanted to learn. His wife went to the store and bought the food but -- the little man stayed home and made beautiful toys out of wood. Children all over the world loved his toys, and many wrote to tell him so. But still the little old man never wanted to learn to read.
Ah, yes. All is well in love and dependence, until said wife has to travel for a few days, leaving clueless old man to fend for himself. One trip to the grocery store and what seems like spaghetti proves to be wax paper. What sits in an oatmeal-like can is really salt... sugar is soap... and a tall glass of milk becomes a stinky sip of sour buttermilk.
Written by famed children's literature advocate Ms. Black and the illustrator who brought us such classics as The Blueberry Elf Pie and the Gus the Ghost stories, I'm always curious when I come across books with a high vintage price point. What is it about the book that makes it collectible? Is it the authors? Are the pictures particularly memorable? What makes one book forgotten and others highly sought after? The art of collecting children's books for my son is a mystery. One man's trash, I suppose...
Oh, and he does learn to read in the end. :)
What's a Ghost Going to Do?
Read along on Instagram, Facebook, tumblr, Twitter and Etsy.