Thursday, September 12, 2013

Vintage...The Little Woman Wanted Noise

Quote of the day:  "To read without reflecting is like eating     without digesting."       ~Edmund Burke

Title:  The Little Woman Wanted Noise
Author:  Val Teal
Illustrator:  Robert Lawson
Ages:  3-7
Published: 1943
The New York Review Children's Collection

This is Val Teal's debut book.  It is the story of a little woman who lives in the big city between a shoemaker and a carpenter and below a printer, so noise is a constant in her life.  She receives a letter from  her cousin; " I am going to Australia and I give you my farm."  The little women accepts her cousin's gift and moves out of her busy city and into farm country.  "But she couldn't rest and she had no peace of mind because it was too quiet." She inquires of her neighbours and asks about the best way "to get some noise on her place."  She is told she needs to invest in some animals which she does.  She obtains a cow, a dog, a cat, a duck, a rooster, a hen, a pig and "an old rattlety-bang car with a good loud horn." But you know what? It still isn't noisy enough for her.  She drives all the way back to the city to figure out what could be the missing component she needs to be happy and content with more noise.  I will not spoil the ending of the story but she does find what she is looking for to fulfill her noise dream.  Once she has everything in place on her farm she discovers she has no rest....but she does have peace of mind.

The illustrations are black and white line drawings and apparently were drawn at the peak of Robert Lawson's career.  His talent is amazing and this book contains some of the most stunning and innovative black-and-white drawings in all of American picture-book history.

The New York Review of Books are bringing these books back for a whole new generation of readers to enjoy.  This collection of vintage books are bound beautifully and uniquely, making them a treasure to collect and add to your library.

About the author:   

Val Teal (1903-1977), her full name was Valentine because she was born on February 14th, wrote at lest one other picture book, Angel Child (1946) and what I believe is a memoir for adults It was Not What I Expected (1948).  She also was an enthusiastic homemaker, she loved to cook and bake, and to make rugs and piece quilts.  She was a zealous conservationist and environmentalist.  She washed dishes by hand, washed clothes with a wringer-type washer to conserve water.  She hung them out to dry to conserve energy.  She even made her own laundry soap.  She had no garbage disposal or dishwasher. She baked her own bread.  

About the Illustrator:

Robert Lawson (1892-1957) is a master artist.  He is most famous for his illustrations in the book The Story of Ferdinand (1936) by Munro Leaf.  He is the only author/illustrator to ever receive both the Caldecott  (for They Were Strong and Good (1941) and the Newberry (for Rabbit Hill) 1945).

                                           Book Review Rating:  9  (Close to Perfection!)

Read on and read always!

Thank you to The New York Review Children's Collect for the complimentary copy to review.

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