For $1.00 I could not turn this book down (I also seem to be unable to use contractions, choosing instead to write like Data speaks on ST:TNG…*sigh). Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you from tip to toe:
1. The opening illustration is of a man in hot pants and high heels with the caption, “And then men were all so gallant and tall”
2. The author dedicates the book to every boy and girl. Within the dedication is the gentle reminder that “Lovable, humorous, whimsical stroies each one teaching its own lesson to the children who appear in them and to their animal friends who behave, after all, a great deal like you and me.” On page 52 the author relates the tale of the three little pigs and how the last piggy boiled the wolf to death and ate him for supper. Lovable and whimsical indeed.
3. The little small red hen is an ode to vigilante-ism, finally tired of the bullying foxes in her neighborhood she breaks down and kills them by scalding water..”scalding water that spalshed in every direction”…she left them lying there and the hen…”But the hen lived happily, just as before…” Makes me think of Michael Douglas in “Falling Down”
4. If anyone says the 30’s were a gentler and kinder time, where people were innocent and better behaved…that people treated eachother with respect…those golden days, happy olden days…they’ve not read ‘Little Black Sambo’…Oy what a strange and questionable story. For gracious sakes, his mother is named Black Mumbo and his father Black Jumbo. Apparently if I had been worthy of a tale in the 30’s my name would have been something like Pasty Lumbo…I did however like the fact that the story highlights pancakes and the eating of hundreds of them.
5. The introduction of character names that are just plain silly; Goosey Poosey, Ducky daddles, Gander Pander. BY the way, Foxy Loxy takes a bite out of Henny Penny…it did not kill her, just snapped a bit off…so in the end, the fox gets the last laugh.
6. There is something infinitely attractive about a book that straddles the line between cloyingly sweet and macabre, where pigs eat wolves and tigers steal satin lined slippers…it’s like a lost pacifier in a puddle.