One of the tragedies of progress is its casualties, like when book publishers stop publishing really good children’s books that don’t fit the contemporary formulas for success. Too few pictures, not enough whiz-bang, not colorful enough, or, in the case of Junket Is Nice, the story line is simply insane. Thankfully, Junket Is Nice remains in print thanks to the never-say-die folks at The New York Review Children’s Collection.
Dorothy “Pat the Bunny” Kunhardt wrote it in the early ‘30s, at the onset of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. I won’t ruin it for you, but I can tell you, without ruining it, that it’s a short story, for kids maybe 1 to 90, about a strange old guy who loves his pudding-like junket so much that he seems to eat nothing else. Naturally, this concerns the locals, and the story takes off from there. It has a good ending.
There are no page numbers; there is dialog without quotation marks; there is only one comma in the whole book. It’s hand-written, and all of the great illustrations are in black and white and red, maybe the plan all along, or maybe a cost-cutting measure, but it works.
I came across this book about eight years ago, and vaguely remembered it. It’s memorable. But I must have read it as a library book, because it wasn’t a family classic. It should be a family classic. I have given it to at least on adult friend, who loves as much as I do.
Hardback, classy, fun to read, takes about ten minutes. I will absolutely read it to my granddaughter. She shall not grow up unfamiliar with Junket Is Nice !
ISBN: 9781590176283 Pages: 72 Publication Date:
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