Quirky, Weird and Wonderful:

These are books that I have discovered over the years and want to celebrate.
Some are out of print, some are new, but most of them have fallen through the cracks for some reason
or another and are not on the general must read lists of books for children.
This does not mean I do not love award winners and best sellers,
but I have a soft spot for the unappreciated and misunderstood.
Please understand that my taste is eclectic, slightly warped and a bit dark.
I like books that make me laugh, books that make me cry, and books that make me think.

I welcome suggestions. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

THE BEAR & THE FLY - A Story By Paula Winter

When I left my school library job, there were a number of books that I was tempted to slip into my bag.  Most of them were old, and I am afraid that the next librarian will not appreciate them as much and will weed them to make room for the newer books that are always coming down the production line.  But the kids loved them when I read them!!!  Newer is not always better.  My ethics prevailed and I did not lift these books, instead, I put them on my To Buy list, even though some are difficult to find. 
     The first on my list was THE BEAR &The FLY by Paula Winter.  Published in 1976, this is one of those little books that easily get lost on library shelves.  It is also a wordless book with the story told through the illustrations. These simple pen and ink drawings, filled in with only a few colors, wonderfully render the accelerating mayhem of the story. The facial expressions are hysterical.  Each page reads as a frame of action and it is not surprising that THE BEAR & THE FLY  was turned into an animated short. 
     This is one of the first stories I would "read" to kindergarteners and it was a dangerous undertaking.  Dangerous because it incites violence.  Yes, violence.  But fun. Fun as in Laurel and Hardy or The Three Stooges.  Here in classic disaster humor, Bear causes an enormous amount of damage as he tries to swat a fly.  So simple, so funny.  But be prepared for some acting out.  How can they resist?  

THE BEAR & THE FLY  - A Story By Paula Winter
Crown Publishers, NY, NY  1976
ISBN: 0-517-52605-0

1 comment:

  1. Barbara, I just found your blog today and am busy putting a bunch of these on hold. They sound great. Thanks for the recommendations!