The Twiddlebugs' Dream House

Story by Pat Tornborg
Photographs by Alan Gelman
Miniatures by Pat Tornborg and Alan Gelman

The most magical thing about Sesame Street are the Muppets! Sure, that's fairly obvious, but just once in awhile Jim Henson takes it a step further. The world of the Twiddlebugs is a great example of taking "an ordinary Muppet" to the next level by creating an already imaginary world and putting another within it! Every Muppet has it's own unique story, but none more fantastical than Ernie's resident insects, the Twiddlebugs.


Don't Be a Grouch! Be A Happy Sesame Street Watcher!

While working on next week's scans I came across this advertisement featuring my beloved Oscar The Grouch! The year of publication is 1983.

The cast was very fashion forward!


Helga's Dowry: A Troll Love Story

Helga's Dowry: A Troll Love Story
Story and Pictures by Tomie dePaola

Hey Kiddos! My last Tomie dePaola post was Strega Nona, which is about a magic pasta pot and the mayhem that ensues when it falls into the wrong hands. I have several Tomie dePaola books but none more charming than Strega Nona, that is, until I added Helga's Dowry to my collection. Helga, in particular, has charmed it's way from mommy's bookshelf onto the Boog's. Admittedly, I will pretty much buy anything with his name attached to it, making Mr. dePaola one of my most fave illustrators. (Number one on my list being the late Maurice Sendak) I have gotten quite good at spotting them on my thrifting excursions. Although, after laying eyes on one of his illustrations you will pretty much agree that his work is quite unmistakable.  

Helga is the loveliest troll in three parishes but, after being orphaned as a troll child, she was also the poorest. This became a problem for her when handsome Lars asks for her hand in marriage, for it is troll law that Helga must posess a dowry. With moonstruck eyes, Lars tells Helga he will go ask old Rich Sven for some advice.

Sven's Advice? Why, marry his daughter Plain Inge. With 30 Cows, 3 Chests of Gold and a mountain pasture, Plain Inge would make him the richest troll in the land! (with the exception of the troll king of course)

Upon hearing this news, Helga decides to take maters into her own hands! She writes Lars a note asking him to wait for her and she decides to go make her own fortune to supply herself with a suitable dowry.
She goes into the Land of People and bargains her way into a dowry of 35 Cows, in exchange for laundry, 4 Chests of Gold in exchange for everlasting beauty and, after clearing out the timber, a Pasture of her very own!

Upon learning that Lars was not going to wait for her and had intentions of marrying Plain Inge in her stead, she dismisses him.....

Only to receive a purposal from the Troll King himself, who is no need of riches and certainly in need of a hard working Troll wife!

What is really funny about this story, is that the Troll King has been interested in Helga all along! You can see him hiding within most of the illustrations watching Helga hard at work.

Also By:
Strega Nona

join us at Etsy, FaceBook and Tumblr




A very lovely book about a woman, Madame Bodot, and her pet snake, Crictor; however, Crictor is no ordinary snake! He goes to school and even finds time to apprehend a cat burglar terrorizing his neighborhood. The Boog's favorite part of the book is when Crictor is delivered to Madame Bodot in a very peculiar O-shaped box! 

Folks are so very impressed by Crictor, they award him with a medal, a statue is resurrected in his honor and a park is named after him.

A little interesting tidbit from one of Tomi's illustrations is depicted on page 21, there is a drawing of an octopus to represent the #8; however, the animal is drawn with only 7 legs..... Very Curious Indeed!

Thank you for visiting and, as always, join us at Etsy, FaceBook and Tumblr


Where the Sidewalk Ends

the poems and drawings of

One of his most famous books that I owned as a child. (in truth, it was the ONLY Silverstein book I owned/read until I came across The Giving Tree in my early twenties) It was my first time in a new school and I sat there mesmerised as my third grade teacher read to us. It's amazing the things you can forget as time goes by. I had forgotten how this book made me want to be a writer and how I spent countless hours pouring over it's poems, always finding solace in the upside down crazy world Shel illustrated. There it sits in my collection, unread for what must be years; and yet, when I pick it up, it's familiar words take me back to a time when life was simple and days were long.
A few nights ago I came across this familiar poem which prompted me to pick up my copy. So many poems jumped out at me and I thought I would share some with you.

I think perhaps a Where the Sidewalk Ends weekly poem is in order. I wouldn't mind getting reacquainted with some old favorites.

Also By:
The Giving Tree

As always, join us at Etsy, FaceBook and Tumblr


The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats

Peter in The Snowy Day
Written and Illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats is the first major exhibition in this country to pay homage to Award Winning Author and Illustrator, Ezra Jack Keats. Coincidentally, The Snowy Day featured the first modern African-American protagonist to be illustrated in a full-color picture book. At the date of it's publication, in 1962, America was experiencing the height of the Civil Rights Movement and the book was a catalyst for change in the Children's Picture Book Industry. Needless to say, Peter has become an inspiration for generations of readers, The Boog being one of them.

The inspiration for Peter goes much deeper than the writer/illustrator is credited for. The Ethnicity of Peter takes a back seat as Keats literally paints a modern community right before your eyes. Growing up in the inner city myself, I have always related to the work of Keats in a very visceral way. His books touch upon life through the eyes of a child; a child that lives in uncertainty, but views their surroundings with conviction. His use of urban settings is not surprising, as he himself grew up in Brooklyn.

Being one of our favorites, I have written about Peter before (here). Gladly, he remains a constant bedtime staple in our story book circulation.

The Exhibit, curated by The Jewish Museum, is currently at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. and runs June 26 - October 14th 2012.

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats Preview here.

join us at Etsy, FaceBook and Tumblr


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...