Friday, April 27, 2012

Guest Post: Jennifer's Walk

Happy to welcome a guest post by reader, Jennifer Arrow, author of the blog Post-Apocalyptic Homeschool. And if you haven't already, check out the Limited Edition Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves T-shirts up for pre-sale!

Thanks again, Jennifer...

Jennifer's Walk
Anne Carriere ~ Arthur Getz ~ Golden Press, 1973

Jennifer's Walk is a treat that landed on my bookshelf in a completely serendipitious way.

While looking online for information about Norah Smaridge's The Big Tidy-Up -- which I had as a child, and which my mother always told me she'd gotten because I shared the name of the little girl in the story -- I stumbled across a reference to a coveted old Golden Press title called Jennifer's Walk.

Suffice to say, the used book gods were smiling that week, and I found Jennifer's Walk on the shelf the next time I visited the $1-a-Book Emporium. Kismet! The dustjacket was ravaged, but no matter, the inside was pristine. Ka-ching, I thought, I shall sell this on the interwebs for a meellion dollars!

Of course, then I made the mistake of reading it a few times with my son, and now we're going to have to keep it forever. The simple story of a girl's expedition across her farm's fields with her backpack, teddy bear and an apple for Arabelle the horse, Jennifer's Walk expresses a little girl's thrill at going out on her own to see the world.

One day, Jennifer wanted to take a walk through the fields all by herself. So her Mommy gave her an apple for Arabella the horse, said "Now Jennifer, try not to frighten the sheep," and kissed her goodbye. Jennifer took her teddy and set out.

It's exciting stuff, and maybe a little scary. Luckily, Teddy is there for her, and as Jennifer herself says about the distance between there and home, "We're far away, but not lost at all."

Jennifer's Walk was written by Anne Carriere, and illustrated by Arthur Getz, a prolific artist who is said to have painted more New Yorker covers than anyone else. The full flickr set is available to view, here.

Love that map end-page! So cool, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing... and remember guys, anyone is welcome to visit and tell a story about a book or two. ~ Burgin

Also by:
Hamilton Duck


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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pre-Order Your Limited Edition VKBMKLs T-Shirt

I am excited to say that I'm making available for PRE-ORDER Limited Edition Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves T-Shirts that feature my new logo designed by Zack Rock. As this is the initial run to see how it goes, pre-order on these shirts will only be available for ONE WEEK ONLY, ending Friday, May 4th, so get them while they last!

The T-shirts are 4-color screen-print on white American Apparel, printed in the US. These American Apparel premium white Ts are available in men's, women's and children's sizes... Child sizes are $22.95 plus shipping. Adult sizes are $24.95 plus shipping.

*** Please note this is a PRE-ORDER. I will be receiving the shirts at the end of May and shipping out then. ******

**** Actual shirt may vary slightly from picture. ****

You can PRE-ORDER the Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves Limited Edition T-Shirt in child sizes, here, and adult sizes, here.

I'm really excited about seeing my son in his! If it goes well, there may be more in the future, but for now, enjoy...


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Did a Bear Just Walk There?

Did a Bear Just Walk There?
Ann Rand ~ A. Birnbaum ~ Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966

Noted children's book author and wife to famed designer Paul, here, Ann Rand takes us into the secret, unknown world of animals, beautifully illustrated with simple brush strokes and color.

I have secrets,
so do you,
and animals and even things
have secrets too.

Where a dog hides his bone... how a roaming pigeon finds its a turtle lives to be so old... All the sorts of questions that children wonder when they are discovering their inner lives.

Secrets can be found
up and down,
in and out,
and all around.
So next time you see
tracks on the ground
why not ask:
Was that a dog or a cat?
Or maybe...perhaps...
did a bear just walk there?

All the wonders of life that are so hard to explain but enormous to imagine. All the questions in the universe that are so amazing to ponder even if they are impossible to answer. Makes me long for those long summer afternoons when we all had nothing better to do than wonder.

To be seven again...

Also by:
Sparkle and Spin

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Story of Edward

The Story of Edward
Philippe Dumas ~ Parents' Magazine Press, 1977

Having taken two days off to nurse a sick boy, I've managed to steal a few moments for myself to come here and write. Note to parents, do NOT suggest watching the movie version of Bridge to Terabithia to a sick first grader lest you desire to spend the afternoon in bed crying with him. At the end, he wept and demanded another movie that was "safe". I'll be redeeming myself this evening by reading several extra chapters of The Hobbit, aloud.

That said, I wanted to share with you a marvelous little wonder of a book by the French illustrator and children's book author, Philippe Dumas, about a waltzing donkey who dreams big and masquerades as a human.

This is a story with a happy ending about a donkey called Edward. Here is Edward dancing a waltz. He has a wonderful talent for waltzing. And here is Edward's old master, Angelo Dupas, a musician of remarkable skill. It was Angelo Dupas who taught Edward to Waltz. Together they put on a spectacular show.

Quite a team the two make, until his master dies, leaving Edward with the wise and noble advice, "never let any one see your long ears."

Edward sets out to seek his fortune, becomes a waiter, falls in love with a human cashier who, when he exposes his true identity to her, betrays him. He manages to escape the police, and eventually finds happiness and a true love of his own kind.

Originally published in France under the title Histoire d'Edouard in 1976, the drawings are so evocative of French culture of a certain era, that it's hard not to be swept up in the romance of this donkey's dalliances. Marvelous.


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Monday, April 23, 2012

Great Monday Give: Aardvarks, Disembark!

Up for grabs today is a nice (nearly new) paperback copy of the book Aardvarks, Disembark!, by Ann Jonas. All you have to do to be entered to win is comment on this post between now and Sunday, April 29 at 11:59 CT. A winner will be selected at random and announced the following day.

As for last week's winner of The Giant Jam Sandwich... it's Christina Song.... Congrats and e-mail me at webe(at)soon(dot)com with your mailing info.

TGIM, all!


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Friday, April 20, 2012

Update Friday: Aardvarks, Disembark!

Update Friday everyone... A post I originally did in 2008, with all new scans for your viewing pleasure... Aardvarks, Disembark!

Happy day, all!


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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Still Another Alphabet Book

Still Another Alphabet Book
Seymour Chwast ~ Martin Stephen Moskof
MacGraw-Hill, 1969

Always a joy when graphic designers and children's books intersect. Created by two of the best in their day, Seymour and Martin made a handful of books together, all with a signature bold and trippy look.

Here, we have a playful take on the alphabet, in full 60s/70s color. Described in the front as both "a puzzle and a game", every spread features a wild and wonderful illustration with the aphabet printed at the bottom. In each, certain letters are highlighted, and it's up to the reader to guess from the letters what the picture is illustrating. This sort of enthusiasm is what the alphabet has always needed, in my opinion. Bright and fun and totally enchanting...



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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Where is the Keeper?

Where Is the Keeper?
Mabel Watts ~ Art Seiden ~ Whitman, 1961

Having a child who has loves animals makes it really easy to find books he'll love. As long as there is an animal of any kind featured predominantly, he'll read it. Second behind only Animal fair, this one houses some of my favroite animal drawings.

Originally published in the magazine Child Life, it's the story of what happened when a zookeeper went missing and the zoo's inhabitants speculate as to where he might be.

Oh, where is the Keeper,
Who "keeps" at the zoo?
The wolf wants to know,
And the kangaroo.
The camel,
The hippo,
The elephant, too,
Ask, "Where is the Keeper,
Who "keeps" at the zoo?
Is he walking the zebra?
Is he trimming the yak?
Has he gone for the weekend?
And will he be back?

Art Seiden's drawings are a delight here, creating comical worry on the faces of all the animals, especially when they become frantic as to where he might be.

The wolf's gaping jaws are particularly wonderful.

Fear not, however. This isn't a story of animal endangerment, rather the zookeeper is off quietly in a corner tending to three baby bears. In a rocking chair, no doubt!

Also by:
Tooters, Tweeters, Strings and Beaters
Counting Rhymes
The Story of Zachary Zween


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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Chuckle Book

The Chuckle Book
Mel Crawford ~ Golden Press, 1971

A funny kinda day here in Texas with unseasonable low temperatures and perfect sun. The kinda day when busting out some Mel Crawford illustrated jokes and riddles is ideal.

Filled with period humor and hilarious drawings of boy scouts, clowns and lederhosen, these sillies were definitely culled from a less politically correct time, but still fun to see today.

A cultural time machine of sorts.

I love all things Mel Crawford, one-time animator, Sesame Street illustrator and Golden Books king, and to see him sketch the nut of a joke is pretty awesome. Case in point...

What goes, "Ha, ha, ha, plop!"?
Someone laughing his head off.

What is the similarity between a hippopotamus and an elephant?
Neither one can play tennis.

Scoutmaster: Now Bruce, if you stand with your back to the north and your face to the south, what would be on your left hand?

Bruce: Fingers.

My son loves to make people laugh. I can't deny that watching him command a group of first grade boys with a well-told knock-knock joke gives me a thrill. I've always though teaching children excellent comic timing was part of our job as parents.

This is a good place to start, friends.

Also by:
The Story of Harmony Lane
I'm My Mommy - I'm My Daddy


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