Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Sorely Trying Day - a bookwrap

New York Review Books Children's Collection is a series of children's books released under the publishing imprint New York Review Books. The series was founded in 2003 to reintroduce some of the many children's books that have fallen out of print, or simply out of mainstream attention. A very favourite of mine.  Great quality classics not to be missed.

Unwrapping ...

"The Sorely Trying Day"

Authored by Russell Hoban
Illustrated by Lillian Hoban

First published in 1964
Ages 4-8  (PS -3) 

Unwrapping some illustrations...

About the book...

Father comes home after a hard day at work and just wants to relax, read his newspaper and have some tranqillity and me-time.  When he walks through the door he finds the total opposite.  The kids are squabbling, the dog has chased the cat up on top of the grandfather clock, his wife has had it with all the wild bedlam and pandemonium reigns.  Oh my!  

Poor Father... how did this all happen? He just wanted to unwind and not have any more problems to contend with.  He realizes that the family must be sorted and they are all looking to him to do the sorting and to solve the problem!

Father investigates and after the blaming and finger-pointing subsides he gives everyone (including the dog and the cat) a time out to think through what's been happening, apologize to each other and push the refresh button so they can get on with their evening.  Will that be the case?  Can they really do it?  Will peace and harmony be restored so everyone can enjoy a quiet evening together?  

Every family can relate to this book that is why this is a perfect book to share after you too have experienced a "sorely trying day."


The wit and cleverness of The Sorely Trying Day could not be more timely, and the book has a delicious ring of political satire that adults will enjoy...The absurdity of each crime (one child hurls paint at another merely for laughing ‘in that peculiarly aggravating way’) will make children of 6+ shriek with mortified recognition. It would make an excellent, and pointed, present from any grandparent or godparent.
The Sunday Times (UK)

Just to mention [the Hobans] brings to mind words like warm, endearing, delightful, charming.
— Jane Yolen, The New York Times Book Review

Marvelously fired to a bubbling point of irresistible laughter.
Publishers Weekly

A long-out-of-print classic from the authors of the beloved Frances books, The Sorely Trying Day offers a timely antidote to stress. Try reading this aloud to the family at the end of, well, a sorely trying day.

Los Angeles Times

About the authors...

Russell Hoban (1925–2011) was the author of more than seventy books for children and adults. Hoban worked as a commercial artist and advertising copywriter before embarking on a career as a children’s author while in his early thirties. During the 1960s Hoban and his wife, Lillian, worked at a prodigious rate, producing as many as six books in a single year—many inspired by life with their own children—including six stories about Frances the badger, The Little Brute Family, Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, and The Sorely Trying Day (published by The New York Review Children’s Collection). Among Hoban’s novels for adults are Turtle Diary, Riddley Walker, The Bat Tattoo, and My Tango with Barbara Strozzi. He lived in London from 1969 until his death in December 2011. 

Lillian Hoban (1925-1988) was born and raised in Philadelphia. She became interested in drawing at a young age, taking classes at the Graphic Sketch Club before going on to the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. After their marriage, Russell and Lillian Hoban moved to New York City, where Lillian studied modern dance and later became a member of Martha Graham’s troupe. In 1961 she provided illustrations for Russell’s Herman the Loser, eventually illustrating or co-writing twenty-six books with him and illustrating nearly one hundred more for other writers, including several by her daughters Phoebe and Julia. In later years, Lillian was celebrated for her stories of Arthur the chimpanzee and his sister Violet, as well as for dozens of other books she wrote and illustrated. She lived in New York City and Wilton, Connecticut, until her death in 1988.

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