Sunday, November 25, 2012

Scat! Scat!

Scat! Scat! ~ Sally Francis ~ Linda K. Powell ~ Platt & Munk, 1977

Probably best remembered for the 1940 edition featuring illustrations by Elizabeth E. Collison, this 70s version of the classic tale Scat! Scat! was the one I grew up loving. The last time I was back at my mom's house in Virginia, I found it lovingly tucked on her bookshelf, and I untucked it right into my suitcase. Something about the cat's soulful eyes filled me with such pity and longing for this lovely feline. If I'd come across a stray as handsome as this, I'd have snatched her up in a minute. Thus begins the tale of the snow white cat that nobody wanted...

Once upon a time there was a little white cat who had no home. One day she went walking down the street crying, "Meow." By and by she came upon an old woman sweeping the sidewalk. "Meow," said the little white cat. But when the old woman saw the cat, she said, "Scat! Scat! Go away little cat." The old woman took her broom and swept the cat into the street. 

So heartbreaking when she picks herself up and walks away only to be hosed down by a grumpy old man, chased by a semi-rabid dog, and shunned by a housewife. 

It's not until she comes upon an open window that she finds happiness in the warm embrace of a dear, sweet girl. If only the lives of all stray animals had such happy endings.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Goose is Getting Fat

Just wanted to drop in and wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. And pre-warn you of the awesomeness that is coming your way the week of December 3. Though the Great Monday Give is now a thing of the past, it doesn't mean the Great Holiday Give is extinct! Be sure to join me for a week of holiday giveaways, brand spanking new reprints of beloved classics for those lucky randomly selected winners.

And as we are prone to sing around these parts come Thanksgiving day...



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Monday, November 19, 2012

Explorer's on the Moom

The Adventures of Tintin: Explorers on the Moon
Hergé ~ Methuen, 1959

Sorry I've been so MIA, but alas... being a working mom is almost impossible! Anywho... though I am naming this about a specific Tintin book, I'm really just writing in because I haven't yet given my boy Tintin some quality lovin' on this site. About two years ago, Tintin opened up a cartoon/graphic novel obsession for my son that is still going strong today. It started with Tintin and has expanded into Babymouse, Zita the Space Girl, Amulet, Ghostopolis, Bone, Lunch Lady and on and on.

Around this time last year, the boy decided he was going to be Tintin for Halloween and he stayed true to his word. (See picture to the right.) Though finding vintage Tintin books can be near impossible, it is not totally hopeless. Like when my thrifty BFF zoinked a US hardcover first edition of Destination Moon, a moment in time that I will secretly resent her for until the day my corpse in rotting in the soil.

But that's neither here nor there. The point is, Tintin is awesome. I am going to openly plagiarize from the Wiki to get those not in the know up to speed.  

"The Adventures of Tintin is a series of comic albums created by Belgian artist Georges Remi (1907–1983), who wrote under the pen name of Hergé. The series is one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century, with translations published in more than 50 languages and more than 200 million copies of the books sold to date. The series first appeared in French in Le Petit Vingtième, a children's supplement to the Belgian newspaper Le XXe Siècle on 10 January 1929. The success of the series saw the serialized strips published in Belgium's leading newspaper Le Soir and spun into a successful Tintin magazine. Then in 1950, Hergé created Studios Hergé, which produced the canon series of twenty-four albums. The Adventures of Tintin have been adapted for radio, television, theatre, and film."

The most recent incarnation was the Spielberg blockbuster last year. But that is not why my son loves it...

"The series is set during a largely realistic 20th century. Its hero is Tintin, a young Belgian reporter. He is aided in his adventures by his faithful fox terrier dog Snowy (Milou in the original French edition). Later, popular additions to the cast included the brash and cynical Captain Haddock, the highly intelligent but hearing-impaired Professor Calculus and other supporting characters such as the incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson. Hergé himself features in several of the comics as a background character, as do his assistants in some instances."
Unlike my thrift BFF (who was a big fan since childhood and probably way more deserving of the previously mentioned library sale purchase), I was only vaguely aware of the Tintin books growing up. I used to look at them sometimes in the library at school, but their intrigue and espionage-filled story lines always felt a wee bit over my head. Not so for my son, who became entranced from the moment he picked up the first book. It came at the perfect time to absorb some of his little boy obsession with guns and hand-to-hand combat.
Explorers on the Moon is the seventeenth book in the Tintin series and a sequel of sorts to the aforementioned Destination Moon, and has a plot not dissimilar to the film Apollo 13, which the boy loved BTW. It's good to begin the series from the beginning at The Land of the Soviets, but do bear in mid, some of the ideas in the earlier books are a bit dated and often racist so an open dialogue with your child is required.
The intrepid reporter Tintin and his dog Snowy have become a huge part of the collective imagination in our family. Though I've come to love all the comics and graphic stories in my son's bigger boy library, I am glad it was the granddaddy of them all that started him off.


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