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Tuesday Book Review: “Now Open the Box” “Jenny and the Cat Club” and “Junket is Nice”

August 13th, 2013

I only knew Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt (American author, 19011979) from “Pat the Bunny” (first published in 1940) and y’know, I didn’t even know that title from when I was a kid. I discovered it later, once my friends (and then later Steve and I) started having kids. “Junket Is Nice” was her first book (it came out in 1932). She also wrote “Now Open the Box,” “Lucky Mrs. Ticklefeather,” “Brave Mr. Buckingham” and “Tiny Animal Stories.” Altogether she wrote close to 50 books, including some titles for adults.

But “Pat the Bunny” is her best known work, and that is just fine by me.

I received a copy of “Now Open the Box” for review, but I picked it up from my P.O. box, and you know… there just happened to be the cutest little girl there, waiting for her mama. So next thing you know, I’m out a book, and she’s happy. So there’s your review.

“Junket is Nice” was recently re-released as part of The New York Review Children’s Collection (“Now Open the Box” is also part of the collection), and I’ve managed to hang on to my review copy, so far. I’ve reviewed some of the Review’s titles here before, and I just cannot say enough about them. The books look good, are well-bound, and are great individually or as a set. What I really appreciate is that they’re not precious. Don’t get me wrong — they are adorable and precious in the best sense of the words, but they are meant to be teethed on by those babies. That, at the end of the day, is what it’s all about. And these books are chewable.

“Junket is Nice” is a goofy-fun book that reminds me somewhat of Wanda Gag’s classic, “Millions of Cats.” The kids will like the rhythm of the book, and the funny images (a walrus with an apple on his back, a one-year-old lion blowing out the candle on his birthday cake, etc.).

I’m hoping to add a copy of “Jenny and the Cat Club: A Collection of Favorite Stories About Jenny Linsky” to my collection. (This is not Jennie from Paul Gallico’s “The Abandoned,” by the by; this one is by Esther Averill.) It looks good, too.

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