Friday, August 10, 2007
I'm in Baltimore right now, trying to work on the new book, while my very generous mom babysits Mose. And while I'm here, I'm also pawing through my old picture books down in the basement. Guess what I found?
Rain Makes Applesauce!
Remember this one?
Well perhaps this eloquent Amazon reviewer will refresh your memory:
THIS BOOK IS JUST A BUNCH OF NONSENSE SENTENCES & THE DRAWINGS ARE STRANGE. I DON'T GET IT & THERE PROBABLY IS NOTHING TO GET.
Um, yeah... okay, loser. You also don't seem to *get* that the CAPS LOCK IS FOR SCREAMING!!! Yeesh!
Despite the idiocy of "H. Price", you should run out and get your kid a copy of Julian Scheer's wonderful book. What makes it so appealing to me is that it's dreamlike and nonlinear. Each page is a sort of discrete little nonsense scenario, but then those scenes (all gorgously illustrated by Marvin Bileck) are unified by a few repeating lines,
"Rain Makes Applesauce"
"Oh, you're just talking silly talk..."
A little trippy, as one might expect from a sixties era picture book. But the effect is lovely and magical and it draws a child in, with it's simplicity and the odd dialogue created by the repeating lines. A young reader gets to be at once the dreamer/silly talker and also the voice of reason. I remember shouting out the repeating lines when my parents read me this book.
Mom would say, "My house goes walking every day,
and rain makes applesauce."
And I'd laugh and scream, "Oh you're just talking silly talk!!!"
Or Dad would read, "Monkeys eat the chimney smoke..." and wait for just a second, look at me meaningfully, and I'd chortle, "AND RAIN MAKES APPLESAUCE!" (notice appropriate use of the caps lock, Mr. H. Price!)
It always surprises me that more people don't know this book. I guess maybe it feels a little dated, with those acid-flashback pictures and the non-narrative format, but it was, after all a Caldecott Honor book.
In any case, you should check it out of the library now that it's back in print!