“Here are the buckets and brushes and me/Plinketty, plinketty, plinketty, plee.”*

by chuckofish

I had a busy weekend filled mostly with getting a new MacBook Pro, since my old one died on Thursday night. They kept calling it “vintage” at the Apple store. It was 5 1/2 years old for pete’s sake, but in this day in age, that is “vintage”–at least as far as Apple products are concerned.

So anyway, I have a new laptop and it is pretty great.

I worked in the yard and went to church, but when it came time to sit down and write a blogpost, I really drew a big zero.

So I give you Lillian Hoban’s birthday. Lillian Hoban (May 18, 1925 – July 17, 1998) you will recall illustrated the wonderful children’s books written by her husband Russell Hoban.

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My children were big fans of Frances, the little badger with whom they could readily relate. I seem to recall that daughter #1 especially loved this character who said things like:

“Who is Alice?” asked mother.
“Alice is somebody that nobody can see,” said Frances. “And that is why she does not have a birthday. So I am singing Happy Thursday to her.” (A Birthday for Frances)

I liked Frances too. She was fun to read about.

The next day when the bell rang for lunch, Albert said, “What do you have today?”

“Well,” said Frances, laying a paper doily on her desk and setting a tiny vase of violets in the middle of it, “let me see.” She arranged her lunch on the doily.

“I have a thermos bottle with cream of tomato soup,” she said.
“And a lobster-salad sandwich on thin slices of white bread.
I have celery, carrot sticks, and black olives,
and a little cardboard shaker of salt for the celery.
And two plums and a tiny basket of cherries.
And vanilla pudding with chocolate sprinkles
and a spoon to eat it with.”

“That’s a good lunch,” said Albert. “I think it’s nice that there are all different kinds of lunches and breakfasts and dinners and snacks. I think eating is nice.”

“So do I,” said Frances, and she made the lobster-salad sandwich, the celery, the carrot sticks, and the olives come out even. (Bread and Jam for Frances)

I especially liked it when Frances sat under the table and made up songs.

frances

Sometimes she sat under the sink.

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Sometimes we all feel like doing that.

Of course, there are elements in these books which people now-a-days might find shocking–for instance, Papa Badger smokes a pipe and even threatens to spank Frances when she won’t stay in bed! Oh my gosh. Quelle shocking!

So happy birthday to Lillian Hoban and to Frances. Have a great Monday!

*A Baby Sister for Frances