Thursday, April 12, 2012

#flannelfriday: Retro Edition

The library building I work in is nearly 100 years old. You can trace the beginnings of our library system back a little bit further than that, but the building itself is a Carnegie building dedicated in 1914. So we have lots of history floating around in our file cabinets and storage areas. One of my predecessors in the children's department kept a journal for about 30 years of children's programming, mostly puppet shows. It is truly fascinating reading. 


You Look Ridiculous... by Bernard Waber

I might write more later about how some things have changed (and others haven't!) in our children's programming based on what I've read, but I thought it would be fun to share some of the stories that my predecessor and her co-workers shared during their storytimes. 


Sadly, the only surviving felt story from that era is You Look Ridiculous, Said the Rhinoceros to the Hippopotamus (1973) by Bernard Waber, the same version that I have put in previous storytimes of my own. If you're familiar with the name Bernard Waber, it's most likely because of Lyle the Crocodile or Ira, two of my childhood favorites.

You Look Ridiculous... is very similar in plot to stories like Monkey Face and The Mixed-Up Chameleon, where the main character imagines himself with physical characteristics of other animals and winds up...err.... looking ridiculous.

Some of the other stories told and/or performed with puppets through my predecessor's career included The Carrot Seed, Claude the Dog: A Christmas Story, William's Doll, Humbug Witch, The Witch's Christmas, Claude and Pepper, One Fine Day, The Wind Blew, Mole and Troll Trim the Tree, Monkey Face, Harry and the Terrible Whatzit, The Cat in the Hat, Belinda's New Spring Hat, Don't Think About a White Bear, Where the Wild Things Are, and Mrs. Mopple's Washing Line.

Do you recognize any of your own childhood favorites? I certainly do in The Witch's Christmas, Where the Wild Things Are,  and The Cat in the Hat. I've used The Carrot Seed and Monkey Face in storytimes of my own. I'd love to hear memories of any of the above mentioned titles. What wonders have you found from "back in the day" floating around your department's files? What will you leave for the future?

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