Skip to main content

G+D Vintage Books: The Animals' Vacation and Mr. Wishing Went Fishing

Growing up in the 1970s, I was well positioned to enjoy picture books from my mother's childhood and, along with Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight's Eloise, Little Golden Books were always a favorite of mine. When my two oldest children were little, it was hard to find the classic Little Golden Books that I remembered, but in 2001 they reissued many of the vintage titles that I had been missing. The downside was that they also ramped up production of  television and movie tie-ins. To me, the quality and classiness of the vintage books was what Little Golden Books were all about, not the low price or pop culture characters.

Happily, G+Vintage (the G and D are for Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin) is reprinting classic picture books from the 1940s, '50s and '60s. In a trim size larger than a Little Golden Book and smaller than a traditional picture book, the $7.99 price is VERY nice. And, while G+Vintage doesn't boast the roster of well known authors and illustrators like Margaret Wise Brown, Garth Williams, and Richard Scarry to be found at Little Golden Books, the tone, style and quality of their authors and illustrators is on par. And, the design of G+Vintage books is gorgeous! From the stripy, matching trim on the spine of each book to the endpapers that can feature bonus illustrations with maps and games, attention is paid to the details. The colors of the original illustrations are bright and cheerful while keeping the palette in line with the original.

Mr. Wishing Went Fishing begins, "Mr. Wishing was a funny little man who lived in a house by the sea." His one room house is shipshape, but when someone "gave Mr. Wishing's house a present - a beautiful blue checked tablecloth for the table," Mr. Wishing gets to thinking. He decides that he must have a "nice glass bowl to put in the tablecloth in the center of the table," which leads him into town and then out to sea. I love the straightforward language of picture books from the '40s and '50s and the gentle silliness of the characters, which are frequently adults. Have you noticed how adults are rarely characters in picture books these days? Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it is a thing...

(image from original book)

The Animals' Vacation begins, "It was time for all the zoo animals to go on vacation. The zookeeper walked through the houses where the animals lived and opened up their cages." He passes out color-coded tags then troops out to the airport to see them off to the "far-off corners of the world." From the piney forest to the North Pole to the mountains, the desert and bush country, the steamy jungle and the South Pole, the zookeeper sees his friends off. In two month's time, all the animals return to the zoo, happy to be "home." In fact, they are even in time to celebrate the arrival of Mrs. Kangaroo's new baby!

(image from original book)

More books from G+Vintage!

 Source: Review Copies


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…