It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Great Book!

George brought this book today, and one read was all it took to convince me I must get this book! I must also check out any other children’s book written by this man.

The story is basic: a little girl loses her bear, and her family expects her to find it herself!!! She employs a few entertaining strategies, but come bedtime, though she’s found any number of other lost items, the bear is still missing!

A true crisis, as I’m sure you can appreciate.

A few pictures to give you the flavour of the artistry:

Here, small girl searches fruitlessly in The Great Blue Void that is her home.

And here she approaches her older sister with all the tact and grace necessary to elicit the support of one’s sibling:

The pictures are terrific, the tale is lively, true-to-life and not at all patronizing. The kids loved the story, and I had my laugh-out-loud moments – though not in the exact same spots the kids were having their giggles. I can see myself happily reading this one over and over again. (Isn’t it nice when you want to read the book again as much as your child does? How often does that happen??)

I was so impressed, I had to find out more about the author. Turns out that Jules Feiffer is a Pulitzer-prize winning editorial cartoonist, playwrite, screenplay writer, as well as author of books. In addition to the Pulitzer, an Academy Award (for animated short), and a few more I don’t recognize. Not, I’m sure, because they’re obscure, but only because I’m not in the business.

And he writes great kids’ books, too.

February 24, 2006 - Posted by | books


  1. oh, even better is his book “Bark, George!” Kids *howl* over that one. The humour is a little yonger, maybe, so preschoolers get it more, as well as grade 1s and 2s.

    Comment by kittenpie | February 24, 2006 | Reply

  2. A book my son brought home from school that I wanted to read over and over was “Math Curse” by John Sciezca (sp?) author of “The Stinky Cheese Man and other fairly stupid tales”

    Comment by Melissa | February 24, 2006 | Reply

  3. I finally got you on bloglines (it was being stubborn) so maybe I won’t get to far behind.

    I loved the post about the runny nose and the laptop.

    Comment by Granny | February 24, 2006 | Reply

  4. Oh! Good find!

    Ben’s b-day is next week, and we’re looking for a few good books. Will check out this one and the one kittenpie suggested!

    Comment by Andie D. | February 24, 2006 | Reply

  5. Thanks! Hopes he will continue writing more great stories by the time I have my kid πŸ˜›

    Comment by Queen Bee | February 24, 2006 | Reply

  6. Kittenpie: Welcome! “Bark, George”. All right. That’s two books for my shopping list today. Thanks.

    Melissa: I’ve heard of “The Stinky Cheese Man”, but not the other. We should compile a list of “Books we Enjoy Reading Multiple Times”.

    Granny: I just got all my links onto Bloglines, too, hoping to keep current a little more efficiently.

    Andie: Another favourite of mine is “Hippos Go Beserk” by Sandra Boynton. You have to read it with rhythm: “ONE hippo all aLONE, calls TWO hippos on the PHONE!!” And when you get to the centre spread, “All the hippos go beserk!!” You have to YELL it all out together. Great fun.

    (I know it by heart and I still love it.)

    QueenBee: He’s BEEN writing for forty or more years, so there should be a reasonable pile of stuff, though children’s books isn’t his focus. One can hope.

    Comment by Mary P. | February 25, 2006 | Reply

  7. I don’t know if the Alexander books are a little old for your 3yr olds but my daughter (and I) love them! C likes them but Alexander is in school so maybe he’ll love them in another year, too! I LOVE Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst!

    Comment by LoryKC | February 25, 2006 | Reply

  8. Oh, don’t get me started – I’ll confess here that I’m a children’s librarian! New York Public LIbrary, a former outpost of mine, has a great list of picture books on their website, called “100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know.” It’s got a lot of classics and some new stuff, recently updated. It’s at their kids site along with lots of other booklist including their annual 100 best of the year (a bit of everything) and some good lists for older kids. Find these and more at:
    Most libraries have some good lists online. I’ll stop now. Really.

    Comment by kittenpie | February 25, 2006 | Reply

  9. Lory: Oh, me too! “Even in Australia.” Ba-dum-pum.

    It’s a little over their heads, but I read it anyway. They love the repetition of “Terrible, Horrible” etc. They also love the “Blackboard Bear” books, and the one, oh, what’s it called, where the little boy starts out protecting his teddy, but as the book progresses, the teddy gets larger and larger and protects the little boy. Very cute. We love them all.

    I routinely read the kids books that are for an older age group. In this case the actual text is secondary. We read the lines, then we look at the pictures and do a lot of talking about what’s going on.

    I view it as “scaffolding” – heard of that term? Where you draw the kids gently into the next level of understanding by doing the bulk of the work yourself, then gradually stepping back as they gather ability? Mostly, though, I do it because it’s fun. I can also impress parents with terms like “scaffolding” for those who are reassured by such evidences of my expertise… πŸ™‚

    Kittenpie: Oh, if you’re a childrens’ librarian (we LOVE our librarian here; her name is Sue and she’s lovely) you’ll probably enjoy a couple other blogs: this one is a review blog of kidlit, and Mother-Woman (aka mo-wo, who writes with her husband, p-man) is a fellow librarian, not that she talks about her work a whole lot, but it’s a fun blog.

    Comment by Mary P. | February 25, 2006 | Reply

  10. Oh, how excellent. I will have to check it out!

    Comment by jen-o-rama | February 26, 2006 | Reply

  11. Hey that looks like one for us to check out. The girl is simply looney about Barry the bear so this should be right up her alley. I took my life in my hands tonight separating her from bear just before bathtime. As I heard the troubling tinkle that stresses out any Mom when you know the buff-monster roams — I kinda grabbed him, all in his own best interest of course.

    And, thanks for the tip about our blog on your comment. We are also debating adding a regular bit on books we don’t recommend in our continuing campaign to share tips for early reading.

    Comment by mo-wo | March 1, 2006 | Reply

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