We’re just back from visiting with family along with another week of summer camp. Possibly more about that amazing summer camp and other North Carolina adventures later. For now, I just wanted to review a book, one that’s no longer in print. One of Mushroom and BalletBoy’s grandfathers has a pile of books that his parents gave him from his childhood so he could read them to to the kids. Among the bizarre treasures of this 1950’s era collection is the book Popcorn Party. I can’t stand it. Mushroom begged me to read it and I succumbed so I got to be reminded why I can’t stand it. And now you get to find out too!
Popcorn Party tells the story of a grandmother who lives what sounds like a really boring life. For her hundredth birthday, she decides to have a little excitement (but only a little, mind you) and throw a popcorn party for the neighborhood kids. In the process, she gets more popcorn than she needs. She’s never gotten more of anything than she needs before but she decides to just go with it. Well, big mistake, Grandma. She pops too much and her whole house is nearly destroyed in a horrific popcorn accident reminiscent of the spaghetti problem in Strega Nona. As far as I can tell, the moral is: don’t do anything exciting and don’t ever indulge in luxury. Sorry, depression-era authors and publishers, I just don’t get it. Also, can I just add that this book is such a study in how picture books have changed. It has at least twice as many words as a similar book would today and the text hasn’t been arranged with much care the way it would be now.
Of course, so many good books are the old ones. For an antidote to Popcorn Party, head over to Vintage Kids’ Books My Kid Loves.