You know that I love picking up vintage children's books to read with Juliet. Mostly, they translate really well and are pretty timeless, but from time to time, we run into things that you just don't see anymore.
I thought I would share ten of these "odd" illustrations that have led to some awkward pauses as Ben and I have read these books with our daughter.
1. Kids with guns.
This is from a book that I loved as a child Julius by Syd Hoff. A little boy named Davy goes into the jungle to catch a gorilla with his dad. He brings his own gun, of course.
2. Bad guys with guns.
This scene is from Robert the Rose Horse by Joan Heilbroner. These bank robbers flee the scene of the crime waving guns around and at one point, they even shoot them! So far, we haven't had to explain why this is scary.
3. More kids with guns.
This is from Simple Simon illustrated by Rodney Peppe. I love the illustrations, but have kept this one out of Juliet's hands so far because I just don't want to explain why he is shooting the duck. The gun appears to be a toy, but still. I can just hear the "Why is he shooting the duck?"
4. Lovable monkeys locked up in jail cells.
You've probably seen this page from Curious George by H.A. Rey. Surprisingly, we haven't gotten any why questions on this one yet.
5. Spanking lines.
This is from Eloise Wilkin's Mother Goose. The old woman who lives in a shoe is handing out the spankings and putting the kids to bed.
6. A cat named "Gay".
Juliet loves any books about firemen and/or their fire animals. Cats are especially exciting. I picked up The Brave Firemen and the Firehouse Cat by Bianca Bradbury without reading it first and when we sat down the first time, I paused long and hard before deciding to go ahead and just read it as is. We talk about Gay the cat all the time now.
7. More antiquated uses of the word "gay".
This is from my McCall's Golden Do-It Book from which I get a lot of crafting inspiration.
8. Naked views of Adam and Eve.
This one is from my husband's childhood Bible entitled "My First Bible". We only recently pulled it out and began reading it together because it is in delicate condition. Juliet is old enough to be careful with the pages now, so we enjoy it. The illustrations are really quite beautiful, but I can see this page getting some snickers when she gets to the "naked is funny" stage.
9. Bearded men in pink leotards and tutus?
I don't know what to say about this one...it's from a book called The Great Circus Parade by Evelyn Malone Curro. And while I understand that these are circus people, I still think it is a bit strange even for them.
10. Dead children in the woods.
What? Yes. Those kids are dead. They are NOT sleeping, they are the babes in the woods that got lost in the woods and "when it was night,/ so sad was their plight,/ The sun it went down,/ and the moon gave no light./ They sobbed and they sighed,/ and they bitterly cried,/ And the poor little things/ They lay down and died."
I did NOT read this to Juliet. I either make up some other story about them going to sleep under a tree or we just skip this page!
(This gem is from Gyo Fujikowa's Oh What a Busy Day! which is an exceptionally beautiful book. Don't let this story scare you away from it--it's just one page in a very large collection of stories and poems. )
So those are my crazy book moments--the funny thing is that while all of them have given me pause as I read them, Juliet has simply taken them in and not seemed to notice that they are unusual. It will be interesting to hear what she has to say about them as she gets older.
Do you have any unusual/odd scenes from children's books to share?
For more top ten lists, check out Top Ten Tuesday at OhAmanda.com!