The Country Mouse and The City Mouse

Best Stories Ever
The Country Mouse and The City Mouse
Richard Scarry
1971 Earlier in the year I picked up a Little Golden book copy of The Country Mouse and The City Mouse along with two other short tales which include The Fox and The Crow and The Dog and His Bone. All three stories happen to be in the Best Story Book Ever as told by Patricia Scarry (who is not credited in the Best Story Book version) and of course illustrated by the wonderful Richard Scarry. Unfortunately, I don't think its in print any longer. I may be wrong, but after a quick look on Amazon I didn't see any new copies available. Anyhoo, we all know the story so Ill spare you the details and go straight to the illustrations, my favorite of which involves a cat!

Join us at Etsy and FaceBook


The Wolf and The Kids

Best Stories Ever
The Wolf and The Kids
Richard Scarry

I was a very late reader, only learning to read and actually comprehend what I was reading at about age 9. That didn't stop me from trying to read though. It just made me want to read that much more.

More to the point, being such a late reader had its drawbacks. I didn’t really get to read anything other picture books for a while. (which is why I go crazy every time I spy a familiar cover) But when I started picking up books, and reading was no longer an issue, I went straight to chapter books. In a way I missed out on some really good stories and fables that most people take for granted. For instance, I had no idea that at the very end of the Three Little Pigs, the big bad wolf falls down the pig’s chimney and into a pot of boiling water. Stories like that escaped me I suppose. Which is unfortunate, because I had such tendencies towards the macabre. It almost seems unfair I missed out on such an ending.

Which brings me to this strange tale, about a Wolf and the “kids." The story goes that the mama goat leaves her kids at home to go off to the market. Before she leaves, she warns them not to open the door for anyone, especially not the Wicked wolf.

The Wicked wolf does indeed show up on their doorstep, and says coarsely, “Open the door my dear children,” the wolf called in his rough voice. “It is your mother, and she has brought something for each of you.”

But the seven kids heard how rough his voice was and cried, “You are not our mother! Our mother’s voice is soft and sweet, and yours is loud and rough. You are the wicked wolf! GO AWAY!”

The Wolf gave this some thought, so he went home and gulped a great big pot of Honey. He rushed back and knocked again. “Open the door my dear children,” the wolf called in his new sweet voice. “It is your mother, and she has brought something for each of you.” After hearing how sweetly he spoke, they almost opened the door; that is until they saw his big black wolf’s paw lying against the window pane. “You are not our mother!” they cried. “Our mother’s paw is white, and yours is black! You are the Wicked Wolf! GO AWAY!”

So the Wicked wolf went over to the baker and said, “Cover my paws with white flour, or I will eat you up.” Well no one wants to be eaten, so the trembling baker did as he was told, and the wolf ran back and knocked on the door for the third time.

“Open the door, my children,” he said sweetly laying his new white paw against the window pane. “It is your mother, and she has brought something for each of you.” The seven kids heard the sweet voice and saw the nice white paw and opened the door joyously only to discover, to their horror, stood the Wicked Wolf! The seven little kids ran to hide but the Wicked Wolf found them soon enough. All but the youngest, who hid in a grandfather clock.

When the mother goat came home to find the door wide open and the house in disarray, she called for her children one by one, but only one answered and he told his mother how the wolf had tricked them all.

The mother goat set out to find the Wolf, and soon she came upon him, snoring beneath a shady tree. She saw something moving inside him!

Very quietly she ran home and brought back her sewing basket. She took her scissors, and snip, snip, she cut a big slit in the Wicked Old Wolf. One, two, three, four, five, six, out bounded the little kids, good as new.

“Now each of you bring a big stone from the river bank,” said the mother goat.
So the little kids dragged up six heavy stones, and the mother goat filled the wolf’s empty stomach with them, and neatly sewed it shut.

After a while, the Wicked Wolf woke up. Feeling very thirsty from the stones inside him, he went down to the river to take a drink. But the stones were so heavy that, when he leaned over to drink, he fell KERSPLASH! into the water, and that was the end of him.

The story was adapted from a german fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm entitled The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids. Later, in Richard Scarry's golden book version, Scarry changes a few things to make it age appropriate. Instead of the wolf eating the children, he places them into a sack and takes them into the woods where the mother cuts the sack open and replaces the children with stones.

Either way, the moral of the story is either don’t open the door for strangers or don’t mess with a mother and her kids!

Join us at Etsy and FaceBook


Pierre Bear

Pierre Bear
Richard Scarry

This Story is from Richard Scarry's Best Stories Ever Book. It tells the tale of a very lonely bear....
In a windswept cabin, away up north, lived brave Pierre bear.

He lived all by himself.

When Pierre wanted a fish supper, he went fishing, all alone

Pierre went home and cooked his fish. He put the red cloth on the table. and he sat before the fire to eat his fine supper.
"I wish there were someone here to share my supper," thought lonely Pierre Bear.

Then Pierre climbed between the soft furs that were his bed. He went to sleep and dreamt a happy dream.
He dreamt that he was with a lot of other bears who were laughing and singing and never lonely.

One day......
Pierre went to a store to spend his dollars.
From a pleasant lady bear he bought some pans to cook with.
"I need a guitar to sing to, for I live alone," said Pierre
So he bought a guitar.

"There is something else I need. Now what can it be?" said Pierre.
"If you live all alone you need company,"said the lady bear.
"She is right," thought Pierre.
So the very next day Pierre Bear made the lady bear his wife.
It was very nice to have Mrs. Pierre Bear around the cabin.
They lived happily all year long.

Then, one day, Spring came to the North and with it, brought a little baby bear to Mr. and Mrs. Pierre Bear.
Now Pierre never goes fishing alone, for baby bear goes with him.

Join us at Etsy and FaceBook


Look What I've Got!

Look What I’ve Got
Anthony Browne


“Anthony Browne? Eh, never heard of him.” That was my first thought the first time I laid eyes on this book. The cover caught me by surprise though. I mean, a boy holding a cube that looks like the sky. I would say that’s pretty surreal, wouldn’t you? So I bought it, brought it home and read it. Although the story didn’t really impress me all that much, some of illustrations in here are begging to be blown up and put on a wall.

Browne seems to include a ton of imagery in one illustration. You may see a normal scene such as the front of a building but upon further inspection you’ll start to notice something odd in the windows. He is also, obsessed with gorillas so you'll see a gorilla in pretty much every book he has illustrated. This one is without exception.

The story is about two boys, Sam and Jeremy. Sam is minding his own beeswax when along comes Jeremy, a boasting spoilt brat whom, after bragging, always seems to get his comeuppance. After several boastful episodes, Jeremy gets abducted by pirates, made to walk a plank and while Sam is trying to rescue him from drowning, Jeremy is still bragging!

Browne’s work has been referred to as surrealist, it’s his belief that all children see life through surrealist eyes and because children are seeing the world for the first time, everything is exciting and fresh; taking on new meaning. The story is a bit nonsensical, but so are the illustrations and I for one, think that’s a good thing! Sometimes reading is more fun that way!

Join us at Etsy and FaceBook


The Sesame Street Treasury

The Sesame Street Treasury
Funk and Wagnalls

I just love everything about foraging for vintage books. I find them at thrift stores, library sales, used book stores, or online; sometimes I even score great vintage from family and friends who know how much of a hoarder I am. I think my love of a great deal has something to do with it but mostly I just love love, love, love old books. They smell good, some of them are familiar and almost always I end up finding something out of print that I never knew existed.

Early on I started collecting books that I thought The Boog might like. I had no idea what to even start buying. I casually would look in the children’s section of the thrift shops my husband and I frequented and one day, BAM!!!! I was smacked in the face with a Sesame Street15 volume Treasury, the very same set I had when I was 5, the set that I drew in and colored up all the pages. I was about 7 months prego with The Boog and was so excited I was squealing like a mad-woman.

The Sesame Street Treasury is like a compendium of stories and activities carried over from The Sesame Street Library, various books in the Sesame Street Storybooks series, and The Sesame Street Cookbook. There are excerpts from Linda's Sign Language Fun and The Sesame Street 1981 Mother Goose Calendar in each volume. It's literally learning in a box!

The Treasury started my ever growing collection. Now, 3 years later, my book shelves runneth over and I don’t seem to be showing signs of slowing. I opened my shop thinking I’d sell most of what The Boog grew out of, along with some of the books she didn’t really like all that much. Then I decided to share my entire collection, the one’s I can’t bear to part with, on this blog. Whenever I find doubles of something or a book that isn’t in circulation too often I forward it to GooGooGalleryKids in hopes it will find a new home where it will be cherished and re loved. I guess I have the Sesame Street Treasury to thank for my obsession!

Join us at Etsy and FaceBook


Strega Nona

Strega Nona
Tomie DePaola

Tomie DePaola is one of the most popular children's book authors and illustrators of our time. He's been published for 40 years and has written and/or illustrated over 200 books, including Caldecott Honor Book Strega Nona.

Strega Nona – grandma witch- is the source for potions, cures, magic, and comfort in her Calabrian town. She has a magic ever full pasta pot which she leaves in the care of Big Anthony, a servant whom Nona has hired to help with her house and garden. He spies on Strega Nona and sees her using her magic pasta pot.

When Strega Nona is away Big Anthony tries to use the pasta pot without Strega Nona's permission. In the end Big Anthony ends up making a big mess!

The story of Strega Nona is actually loosely based on an old, Italian folklore, “The Porridge Pot” only DePaola changed Porridge to Pasta and a story was born. The entire manuscript was scribbled on yellow legal pad with some provisions made to the original. Big Anthony was originally a GIRL named Concetta. DePaola felt “that the world did not need one more not-too-bright servant girl in folklore”, so he crossed out "Concetta" and turned the character into "Big Anthony, who did not pay attention."

Picture from Tomie's Website

I have seen a ton of interviews and learned his mother read to him when he was just a wee little one, which later inspired him to be an artist and story teller. The Boog and I read every night and even though it feels like I have read the same story 400 times, her passion for our little story times drives me to make the little silly voices and crazy facial expressions she loves so much. I think Tomie’s mom was on to something!

Join us at Etsy and FaceBook

Shop GooGooGooGalleryKids

As you may know, I keep an Etsy store where I sell all the vintage books I have hoarded over the years. Most of the books up for sale were pre loved by The Boog and are being sent back into the wild to find a new home.

I was on hiatus for the Holidays but I have eagerly returned and will continue to put new things up regularly.

Current Highlights in the shop include:

Babar - 1961

Robin Hood Starring Jim Henson’s Muppets - 1980

Mother Goose Rhymes for Jewish Children - 1946

Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Big Golden Book – 1961

Join us at Etsy and FaceBook


The Snowy Day

The Snowy Day
Ezra Jack Keats1962

I picked this up originally because its Keats (all Keats illustrations deserve a good peek) but also because it’s a very large format board book version of The Snowy Day. Actually it’s the most vibrant version of the book that I have ever come across. Much like the Good Night Moon copy we have, it makes the illustrations larger than life. After the third or fourth read I found that it wasn’t just the illustrations that made this book so appealing. It’s about a child going through his daily routine with a newfound sense of wonderment.

Keats took an ordinarily snowy, blah-day and made it extraordinarily amusing. Here we meet Peter, a little boy just waking up on a very, very, very, snowy day.

After his breakfast, which I’m sure was his mom’s idea, (way to go MOM) Peter goes out to explore this new winter wonderland, and towards the end of the book, makes a surprising discovery. . . . Not so surprising for you and I but none the less SUPER surprising for The Boog!

"He picked up a handful of snow --- and another, and still another. He packed it round and firm and put the snowball in his pocket for tomorrow. Then he went into his warm house."

-Im sure we can guess how that turned out!

On a side note, the influence for the characters in Keats’ books came from his community, while growing up in New York. Keats was able to create multi cultural characters that surpassed the traditional social boundries of his time. The character Peter (The Snowy Day) was the first African American child to have a central place in Children’s Literature. It won the prestigious Caldecott Award for the most distinguished picture book in 1963.

Peter appears in six more books growing from a small boy in The Snowy Day to adolescence in Pet Show. Young Peter paved the way for multi cultural characters in Children's Literature for future generations to come ;)


The Amazing Mumford Forgets the Magic Words!

The Amazing Mumford Forgets the Magic Words!
By Patricia Thackrayillustrated by Normand Chartier1979

Oh 1970’s Sesame Street, how I love thee! Grover and Oscar were by far my favorite but why in the world am I not familiar with The Amazing Mumford! His earliest known appearance was in 1971 and he appeared pretty regularly until about 1978 and then POOF! He just disappeared for nearly a decade. Turns out, this whole time he was The Counts neighbor! Eh, I suppose I was too young to have been able to have seen him and by 1987 too old to have paid much attention. My hubby came across this lovely golden book on one of his thrifting expeditions. The Boog loves it because she gets to yell out nonsense. Why not? You're only young once.

Anyhoo, the story begins with Mumford getting hit on the head before a big performance causing temporary amnesia. He then announces, "I, the Amazing Mumford, will now perform my most famous feat -- the rabbit-in-the-hat trick!" He waves his wand over his top hat, but can't remember the magic phrase.

He tries, "A la... turkey club sandwiches!", and a duck appears. "Hot pastrami sandwiches" brings a gorilla out of the hat, "tuna salad sandwiches" pulls out Cookie Monster driving a train, and "bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwiches" causes Rodeo Rosie to appear, riding a horse and lassoing a calf.

He then tries "A la... meatball-hero-sandwiches!" This makes Super Grover appear, carrying a lunchbox. Super Grover pulls a peanut butter sandwich out of his lunchbox, which reminds Mumford of the correct magic words. "A la... peanut butter sandwiches!" A rabbit appears, bringing the Amazing Mumford's act to a triumphant conclusion!
Here is "Mumfy" and Grover doing the famous rabbit out of the hat trick...... Mumford has trouble getting a rabbit to come out of his hat; both are oblivious to the fact that Grover gradually turns into one! Classic Sesame Street schtick at its greatest!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...