Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Book 26: Many Moons

Book 26: Many Moons, by James Thurber and illustrated by Louis Slobodkin, Voyager Books (Harcourt Brace & Company), 1991.   Elementary.

Because Book 26 doubles the sad average of books owned per child, I wanted it to be a significant book. I first encountered Many Moons when it was read to me during a story time at school when I was about eight years old. Of course, at that age, I didn't bother thinking about who wrote the story, just whether I liked the story or not. And I did like the story. So much so, that it stayed with me for years. But, since I didn't learn at that first reading who wrote it, I couldn't rediscover it.

Then, when I was about eighteen, I discovered James Thurber's writings -- It was a natural progression from Dorothy Parker, to Robert Benchley, to James Thurber. And I loved his writing and accompanying illustrations. Sadly, I still did not connect The Cat Bird Seat with Many Moons.

About another ten years passed and this edition illustrated by Louis Slobodkin was released. The title seemed familiar, so I flipped though the book, and to my delight I found the lost story of my childhood. Happy day! It was like when I found out that Oscar Wilde wrote The Happy Prince. It was like finding an old friend. So, of course, I bought the book. And, although I have yet to read it to my young son, I have turned it into a play for the library. And it was quite good.

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