Posts from the ‘vintage books’ Category

#READ KIDS CLASSICS – FRIENDS OR FOES

Flip and the Cows

Written and Illustrated by Wesley Dennis

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This book was originally copyrighted in 1942. The copyright was renewed in 1970 and reprinted by Scholastic Books in paperback format.

Flip is a young, energetic, black colt with a taste of adventure. When he views the sharp horns of the cows standing beyond the fence, Flip is afraid. Flip does not understand the basis for the fear, yet it is strong. Once day he starts to back up to get away, when he finds himself colliding with his mother. She nips him and Flip runs away. Little does he realize he is rushing headlong into a herd of cows. How will they react to Flip? Are his fears unfounded?

This book with black and white illustrations is soft and sweet. Dennis illustrated more than 150 children’s books. His most famous works are Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty and John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony. Dennis combined his artistic talents with author Marguerite Henry on fifteen children’s books featuring horses. Born in 1903, Dennis began his career as a newspaper illustrator later working as a children’s book illustrator until his death in 1966.

I purchased this book for my children in the 1970’s. They spent summers in an area peppered by farms containing cows and horses so this was a favorite read. Recommended as a bedtime story vintage classic or as an easy beginning reader. Check your library. A few used copies are available on Amazon.

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#Read Kids Classics

THE GREAT SWITCHEROO

The Five Chinese Brothers

Written by Claire Huchet Bishop

Illustrated by Kurt Wiese

chinesebrotherspicClassic tale of five brothers who looked exactly alike and how they were able to avoid a public execution and prove the innocence of one of the brothers. Although each of the brothers looked exactly alike, each one possessed a unique and special power. The first brother could swallow the sea, the second had an iron neck, the third could stretch and stretch his legs, the fourth could not be burned, and the fifth could hold his breath indefinitely. The plot involves the first brother fishing in the sea when a little boy begs to go with him. He agrees on condition that the boy promises to obey him promptly. But when the first brother swallows the sea, the little boy begins to fill his pockets with the items left behind on land. Despite his warning to the boy that he could no longer hold the sea back, the boy refused to come return and was swallowed by the sea.

The brother was arrested, tried and condemned to death. He pleaded with the judge to return home to say good-bye to his mother and that is when the brothers conspire to use their talents to thwart the execution one by one. The town is amazed that the brother cannot be killed and are eventually convinced that he is innocent.

This book was originally released by Coward-McCann, Inc. in 1938 and was reprinted by Scholastic Book Services beginning in 1966. I grew up reading this humorous and clever classic and was happy to share it with my own children and students. Recommended especially for children in the five to eight age range, but it can certainly be enjoyed by any age. This book is available on amazon in multiple editions and in many formats.

IT’S ELEMENTARY….. #Read Kids Classics

Morris the Moose Goes to School

Written and Illustrated by Bernard Wiseman

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This classic was one of my favorite books to read to my own children or to students in my classroom at the beginning of the school year. Originally published as Morris Goes to School in hardcover in 1970, Scholastic reprinted it as a paperback in 1978 under the title, Morris the Moose Goes to School.

Morris never thought about attending school until he visited a candy store one day and was unable to count out his pennies to pay for the candy he wanted to buy. A kindly storekeeper brings Morris to the local school where Miss Fine, the teacher, warmly welcomes Morris. Poor Morris can’t fit into the desk and picks the wrong bathroom because he fails to understand the concept of letters. He can’t comprehend what a song is and does not have fingers to help him count to ten. Morris is unprepared; he doesn’t have lunch so he eats the grass outside on the lawn. Miss Fine is the epitome of a kind, patient teacher who never loses her patience and finds numerous concrete examples to elucidate and get her lessons across to Morris. At the end of the day, Morris learns his counting skills and is able to revisit the candy store.

I love the clever way Wiseman brings the plot full circle to its logical conclusion. Children proceed step by step along the story line and learn multiple lessons along the way. Wiseman uses only three colors, brown, white and blue in each of the simple but expressive illustrations peppering each page of text. The current version is marketed as an I Can Read Step 1 book, perfect for the preschool through grade three student audience. Also a good choice for parents to include in their back to school reading list. The book is still available on Amazon in multiple formats.

About the author: Bernard Wiseman wrote many books on the Morris theme. He was active from 1958 through 1995. He kept a low profile. Little biographical information is available. Amazon provides only a list of his books.

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#READ KIDS CLASSICS – CLASSROOM CHAOS

Miss Nelson is Missing!

Written by Harry Allard

Illustrated by James Marshall

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One of my favorite books to be read and shared with my students and my own two children. Originally published in 1977 in Hardcover edition, today it is available on amazon in multiple formats.

Miss Nelson is a sweet and pretty young teacher who has great difficulty controlling the rambunctious students in Room 207. They are rude and obnoxious, spitballs are visible on the ceiling and paper airplanes soar through the air. One day Miss Nelson fails to show up. Miss Viola Swamp dressed all in black and wearing ugly white make-up walks in as their substitute. The students soon learn, “ Be careful what you wish for.” Miss Swamp goes way beyond mean, and they could never have imagined so much classwork and homework. The children realize what a good teacher they have lost. Fear, panic and desperation flood their hearts. When it appears that Miss Nelson is not coming back, they even hire a detective to try to find her.

Marshall does a fantastic job with the illustrations, which look like a combination of cartoon and watercolors. Each one portrays exactly what is unfolding in the classroom. As a teacher and mom, I certainly enjoyed the humor and reality of the situation. Targeted for ages four through eight, this book is perfect for that age group, but my second grade students chose this book as one of their favorites. The book is a fun read any time of year, but also is perfect as a back to school read.

About the Author and Illustrator ( bios taken from their Amazon Page)

Harry Allard is the author of several hilarious books for children, including three books about Miss Nelson and four books about the Stupid family, all illustrated by James Marshall. He currently lives in Oaxaca, Mexico.

James Marshall (1942–1992) created dozens of exuberant and captivating books for children, including The Stupids, Miss Nelson Is Missing!, and the ever-popular George and Martha books. Before creating his canon of classic, hilarious children’s books, James Marshall played the viola, studied French, and received a master’s degree from Trinity College. He also doodled. It was the doodles, and the unforgettable characters that emerged from them, that led him to his life’s work as one of the finest creators of children’s books of the twentieth century. In 2007, James Marshall was posthumously awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder medal for his lasting contribution to literature for children.

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#KIDSREADCLASSICS – PUPPY LOVE

Puppies Are Like That

Written and illustrated by Jan Pfloog

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This book was one of my favorite read aloud picture books for both my son and daughter. It remained their number one choice for a bedtime story or rainy day read aloud for quite some time. My copy is rather tattered, soiled, and dog eared, a bit like the beagle who is the star character in this Random House Pictureback Book that was copyrighted in 1975.

A good part of the appeal of this tale is the analogy the puppy presents with the life of a growing child. Puppies like to chew on things they shouldn’t, but don’t like to be scolded. Neither do children. Puppies like to bark and make too much noise as do children. Pups often stick their noses into places they don’t belong and dare each other to see who is stronger. They love to get dirty, but hate taking a bath. At the end of a long day, all puppies really desire is a warm bed and a soft cuddle. Can you see why this book would appeal to preschoolers and beginning readers?

The illustrations portray puppies engaged in all of these antics. They are large, colorful and cute. As the activities change from one to another, the author repeats the phrase, “Puppies are like that!” My children loved repeating these words over and over again in affirmation. This tale lends itself to an interactive read aloud between parent and child or younger and older siblings.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jan Pfloog wrote many books about animals in the sixties, seventies and eighties. There is a companion book to this one, Kittens Are Like That. Most of her books centered on animals, farm animals, zoo animals or individual animals like the ones previously discussed. Copies of the book are still available on amazon https://www.amazon.com/Puppies-Are-Like-that-Pictureback/dp/0394829239/re

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#KIDS READ CLASSICS – FOND MEMORIES OF DAYS GONE BY….The Days of Holly Hobbie: A Cricket Book

The Days of Holly Hobbie: A Cricket Book

Illustrated by Holly Hobbie

Published by Platt & Munk, NY 1977

DaysofHollyHobbie

I picked this book up for my young daughter at a tag sale near my home. My daughter and I loved the pastel watercolors, the calico clothing and the over-sized bonnet this character wore. I had toyed with the idea of naming my daughter Holly as she was due near Christmas, but changed my mind at the last minute. Maybe that is why I was originally drawn to it.

Holly traces a typical day in her simple life. Her activities might include picking flowers, watering plants, caring for pets, stomping in rain puddles, exploring the attic, baking muffins, listening to the birds or swinging beneath the trees. Echoes of a childhood past that moved much more slowly. This 9 X 12 hardcover book is still available on amazon. Mine is well worn and  bears the inscription of its original purchaser.

Who is Holly Hobbie? She is a real person. Holly Hobbie was born Holly Ulinskas in 1944. Holly is an American writer and illustrator who named the fictional character based on herself. She is also the author of the Toot and Puddle book series. In the late 1960’s this Holly Hobbie character wearing a rag dress and dressed in her huge bonnet, usually accompanied by her pet cat, sold to American Greetings.

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The artist, Bob Childers, insisted that she become a doll. He hand stitched a prototype and gave it to Hallmark’s Rex Connors. Conners sold the idea to Knickerbocker Toys who licensed the character in 1974; the character came to life and delighted many little girls like my daughter, Heather. Later in 2006, Hollie Hobbie and Friends became a spin-off and regained popularity. Music, lyrics and a TV movie were produced as a result. Holly remains a charming and nostalgic reminder of a favorite vintage book that I enjoyed reading with my daughter.

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#KIDSREADCLASSICS ROUND AND ROUND WE GO

Busy Wheels

Written by Peter Lippman

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My April choice for a vintage classic is one that I read to my son, who like many young boys was enamored with anything that had wheels. Published by Random House in 1973, this book would be considered a new kids classic. While not as well known as some of the classic fairytales or animal favorites like Charlotte’s Web, I do believe it had widespread popularity.

Lippman employed everyday scenes witnessed by children living in city or country environments. He wrote with colorful adjectives, alliterative phrases and onomatopoeia. “Early in the morning garbage trucks roll down the street. Cans clatter. Men shout.” Lipmann put into words what children saw and heard everyday. Moms pushing baby carriages, tow trucks, ambulances, fire trucks, trains, tractors, airplanes, mail trucks, ice cream trucks and school buses. Stretching their imagination to the stars, he reminds us that wheels of the moon rover have even gone to the moon and moved moon dust.

My son and I loved to study the illustrations for the hilarious hidden pictures like an alligator on top of the school bus or a dalmatian driving the fire truck. On each reread, something new remained to be discovered. There are limited copies of this book available in hard or soft cover on amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Busy-Wheels-Peter-Lippman/dp/0394827066/

Lippman produced these board books for toddlers who love wheel books:

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I can’t end this post without mentioning Richard Scary whose books also included transportation favorites:

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