Monday, 3 June 2013

guest post by mrs. brown's books

What a treat to have a guest post from my buddy and the children's book expert Mrs. Brown's Books this Monday!

This is my first guest post on the blog scene and I’m flattered that my good friend at Lattes & Juice has given me this opportunity. She’s cornered the market on baby and mom style but what I like best is her down to earth attitude to motherhood and her willingness to share her trials and tribulations on her blog.  She also hosts amazing play dates and holiday parties!

Before I had my son E, I had already amassed a sizeable collection of vintage children’s books. It’s a real treat to be able to share them with him and even better when he loves them as much as I do. The House on East 88th Street is one book in particular that we love to read together.

Originally published in 1962, The House on East 88th Street is the first in a series about a loveable crocodile named Lyle. His story begins when an unsuspecting family moves into their brownstone in New York City and discovers a crocodile living in their bathtub! Luckily, Lyle is a friendly, loveable sort whose only requirement is a diet of Turkish caviar.  

The Primm family make fast friends with Lyle and he soon settles into life on East 88th Street. All goes swimmingly until Lyle makes the daily paper after being photographed performing in a street parade.  His owner, a certain Hector P. Valenti, sees the photo of Lyle and decides to return and claim his multi talented crocodile. Prospects begin to look very bleak indeed for Lyle and the Primms as he says goodbye to the house on East 88th Street.  After a short return to the stage, however, it becomes clear that Lyle no longer wishes to perform professionally and Hector P. Valenti returns him to the welcoming arms of the Primms.

This is a tale of the impossible and it captures E’s imagination. The illustrations are playful and distinct in Bernard Waber’s trademark 4 colour style. I especially like how Lyle’s vibrant green colouring stands out against the largely black and white illustrations. E and I often talk about Lyle before bath time and what would happen if we went upstairs to find him in our bathtub! 

The author/illustrator Bernard Waber sadly passed away this year. He left behind a treasure trove of creations including several books about Lyle:

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
Lyle and the Birthday Party
Lovable Lyle
Lyle Finds His Mother
Funny, Funny Lyle

Hop on over to read more reviews on Mrs. Brown's Books.

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