Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Surprise Stories

Surprise Stories. Marjorie Hardy.  Illustrated by Lucille Enders and Matilda Breuer.  1926/1929. Wheeler Publishing Company. 124 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: My name is Puff. I am a little white kitten. I live with a little girl. Her name is Sally. I like to live with Sally. She takes good care of me. She feeds me. Sally knows just what I should eat. She knows just how much I should eat. Sally and I are good friends. I came to live with Sally because I had no home. Do you want to know why I had no home?

Premise/plot: Surprise Stories is vintage early reader from the Child's Own Way series. It was originally published in the 1920s. It is a classroom reader. The stories center around Sally and Billy (sister and brother), Puff and Wag (their pets), and other friends--many of which are animals. The stories flow into one another for the most part.

My thoughts: I love vintage readers. I do. Not that I'm not thankful for modern, contemporary books. I am. Mo Willems shouldn't be worried that children will start preferring Marjorie Hardy's stories to his own. But I like these glimpses into the past.

And I'm happy to say that, for the most part, there is nothing super-atrocious in this one making it inappropriate in terms of being politically correct. I qualify that with the word super.

It is not perfectly perfect. There are a sequence of stories set at the circus. Circus dogs, circus monkeys, and the circus elephant all get a chance to narrate a story. These animals are all pleased to be in captivity and belong to the circus. I imagine that in 1926, it would have been unimaginable that there would come a day when the circus would be no more.   

It was also not perfectly perfect because my copy was missing a page--two pages of text. What happened on page 47 and 48?!

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

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