Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chlöe and Maude

Chlöe and Maude
Sandra Boynton ~ Little Brown, 1984

Happy day kids! I don't know if you all remember me waxing poetic about the little gift shop / bookstore at the Hammock Shops in Pawley's Island where I fell in love as a child with Mercer Mayer and the Bernstein Bears. Yes? No? Either way, another resident of those rooms was the always delightful Sandra Boynton. Her wonderfully cheery creatures covered that place from bookshelf to cash wrap in the form of cards, children's books and gift items.

Her first book published in 1977, Hippos Go Berserk!, is a sublimely silly little counting book featuring said hippos doing just that. Going totally bonkers. All her animals are endearing and delightful from the Snuggle Puppy (my son's favorite board book as a child) to her Philadelphia Chickens. Cows, pigs, ducks, sheep and kittens inhabit her imagination. And speaking of kittens, here we have a chapter book about two wee cat friends. Three stories, the first of which (The Art Lesson) was originally published in the November 1983 edition of Redbook magazine. I would've been too old to enjoy this one when it was released, but it doesn't mean I can't enjoy it now when my own child reads the words...

Chlöe loved to draw.
She drew magical castles and angry dancing dragons.
She drew trains with lots and lots of cars.
She drew spaghetti, her friend Maude, families, forests and elephants.
Chlöe's friend Maude did not like to draw.

Two best friends finding their way in a world where one draws realistic and the other spreads color! The other two stories are filled with even more sweet adventures. Chlöe, Maude & Sophia sees one changing her name and persona, but then deciding she likes herself just the way she is. Overnight shows how scary stories lead to the nighttime shivers. Real in its feelings and themes, each little illustration carries with it all the wonder and heartache of what it means to be a child.

Love, love, love the Boynton.


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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Drawn & Quarterly for Christmas

I mentioned a few days back that I got a package from Drawn & Quarterly. Well, avert your eyes all ye children who receive holiday gifts from me, lest your Christmas comeuppance be spoiled. (Hey, if Target can start shilling for the holidays before Halloween, so can I!)

First up is Pippi Moves In! From the publisher... "Pippi Moves In marks the first time that the legendary Pippi Longstocking comics by famed children’s author and creator Astrid Lindgren and Danish illustrator Ingrid Vang Nyman will be published outside of Scandinavia in thirty years, as well as their first ever publication in English." 


Pippi Longstocking on an ultra awesome pill. Awesome as an adjective doesn't even begin to do it justice.

Tucked underneath were these little paperback Moomin comic strip books by the eternally fabulous Tove Jansson: Moomin's Winter Follies and Moomin Valley Turns Jungle. Perfect stocking stuffers! 

And perfect additions to our Moomin picture book collection: The Dangerous Journey, Who Will Comfort Toffle? and The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My.

Time to start book hoarding for the holidays folks!


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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Gogo's Car Breaks Down

Gogo's Car Breaks Down 
Anne Rockwell ~ Doubleday, 1978

I always buy an old Anne Rockwell book when I see one. Her lines are so simple and easy, it's hard to not like them. Still active today, she's been publishing books for children since her first, Paul  and Arthur Search for the Egg,  in 1964. This one's about a clown who decides to take a drive home to see his mother, and runs into car trouble along the way.

"Now my little car will not go up this steep hill, and I will not get home to my mother. It is getting dark, and I am cold and hungry. Oh, how I wish I had stayed at the circus, for that is where I belong."

The clown. Ha. One of those funny things in life that you either love or hate.


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Sunday, October 7, 2012

How To Be a Grouch

How to Be a Grouch- Book and Record 
Oscar the Grouch (Caroll E. Spinney) ~ Sesame Street Records, 1981

There are still so many things I want to share with you guys! Like the lovely box that arrived yesterday from Drawn & Quarterly (more later), and the fact that a cold front finally blew into San Antonio--a cold front so awesome and refreshing, it had my dogs wrestling until two in the morning. The fact that I'm in love with my new job and feel so blessed to be there. The fact that I'm going to see the new Tim Burton today! The fact that the boy is going to be Tintin for Halloween (pictures to come).

Not to mention the books piling up in my to-post pile.

Like this one, for example. I've been completely remiss in not posting this as part of my old school Muppet set. A few days ago, my son was in his room playing records on his Fisher Price, when all of a sudden, Carol Spinney's voice came dancing down the hall like an old friend calling me out to play. I don't think I can possible communicate how much I LOVED THIS BOOK AND RECORD when I was little. It is one of the most classic bits of Sesame Street memorabilia anyone can possibly own. A book all about how to be a grouch. Not only was it written by Caroll E. Spinney (aka Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird) but it was illustrated by him, as well, and it's his voice you hear on the audio.

Not to mention the fact that it's bloody hysterical. Case in point...

First of all -
If you want to be a grouch,
You'll have to stop being so
Next - learn to frown!

Ah yes, in 24 fun-filled pages, Mr. Spinney gives us the skinny on all the crummy things you can do to get down with the garbage can gang. In addition, you discover all sorts of insights into the life of one, Oscar the Grouch; meet his family (I always liked Smiling George in the smiley face trash can), find out what makes him grouchy (birds that sing), where he likes to go on vacation (Mudville Flats), and what he likes to eat (cold turkey gravy on corn flakes). Every second of this book is awesome.

Originally published in 1976 as a Whitman Tell-a-Tale book, it was also adapted into an onscreen short that will be released as part of the upcoming Old School: Vol 3 DVD set. Every page is full of crummy advice and situations: "Going to a Grouch Movie - First, you wait in a very slow ticket line, then a grouchy usher yells at you to get your feet off the seat. The best part comes when the movie machine breaks down!" It's so great to hear Oscar's voice spitting out all his rotten routines. Possible the most awesome sauce part comes with Oscar's last piece of advice.

Other Old Sesame Street Titles:
Sesame Street Book of Fairy Tales

Gotta love the Spinney...


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