“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.


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.


Sometimes she sat under the sink.


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