Archives for posts with tag: picture books

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THE DOUBTFUL GUEST
by Edward Gorey

When they answered the bell on that wild winter night,
There was no one expected – and no one in sight.
Then they saw something standing on top of an urn,
Whose peculiar appearance gave them quite a turn.
All at once it leapt down and ran into the hall,
Where it chose to remain with its nose to the wall.
It was seemingly deaf to whatever they said,
So at last they stopped screaming, and went off to bed.
It joined them at breakfast and presently ate
All the syrup and toast, and a part of a plate.
It wrenched off the horn from the new gramophone,
And could not be persuaded to leave it alone.
It betrayed a great liking for peering up flues,
And for peeling the soles of its white canvas shoes.
At times it would tear out whole chapters from books,
Or put roomfuls of pictures askew on their hooks.
Every Sunday it brooded and lay on the floor,
Inconveniently close to the drawing-room door.
Now and then it would vanish for hours from the scene,
But, alas, be discovered inside a tureen.
It was subject to fits of bewildering wrath,
During which it would hide all the towels from the bath.
In the night through the house it would aimlessly creep,
In spite of the fact of its being asleep.
It would carry off objects of which it grew fond,
And protect them by dropping them into the pond.
It came seventeen years ago – and to this day
It has shown no intention of going away.

© words and images by Edward Gorey 1957, 1985.

Find The Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey at Amazon.com.

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GOODNIGHT MOON 
text of children’s picture book
by Margaret Wise Brown

In the great green room
there was a telephone
and a red balloon
and a picture of
the cow jumping over the moon.
 
There were three little bears
sitting on chairs
and two little kittens
and a pair of mittens
and a little toyhouse
and a young mouse
and a comb and a brush
and a bowl full of mush
and a quiet old lady
who was whispering “hush.”
 
Good night room
Goodnight moon
Goodnight cow
jumping over the moon
Goodnight light
and the red balloon
 
Goodnight bears
Goodnight chairs
Goodnight kittens
and goodnight mittens
 
Goodnight clocks
and goodnight socks
Goodnight little house
and goodnight mouse.
 
Goodnight comb
and goodnight brush
Goodnight nobody
Goodnight mush
and goodnight to the old lady
whispering “hush.”
 
Goodnight stars
Goodnight air
Goodnight noises everywhere.

©Harper Collins Publishing, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Find Goodnight Moon at Amazon.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Margaret Wise Brown (1910-1953) wrote hundreds of books and stories during her life, but she is best known for Goodnight Moon (1947) and Runaway Bunny (1942). Following her graduation with a B.A. in English in 1932, Brown worked as a teacher and also studied art. While working at the Bank Street Experimental School in New York City, she started writing books for children. Her first was When the Wind Blew, published in 1937 by Harper & Brothers.

ABOUT GOODNIGHT MOON: Originally published by Harper& Brothers  in 1947, Goodnight Moon slowly became a bestseller. Annual sales grew from about 1,500 copies in 1953 to 20,000 in 1970 — and by 1990, the total number of copies sold was more than 4 million. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its “Teachers’ Top 100 Books for Children.” It was one of the “Top 100 Picture Books” of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal. (Read more at Wikipedia.org.)

EDITOR’S NOTE: A Wall St. Journal article from Sept. 8, 2000 stated that Margaret Wise Brown‘s heir received $5 million in royalties from the time of the author’s death in 1953 to 2000. Let’s see…Goodnight Moon is composed of just 130 words — earning the heir almost $40,000 per word. (And that was 13 years ago….) The Wall St. Journal article (“Runaway Money” by Joshua Prager) details what became of all that money.

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THE DOUBTFUL GUEST

by Edward Gorey

When they answered the bell on that wild winter night,

There was no one expected – and no one in sight.

Then they saw something standing on top of an urn,

Whose peculiar appearance gave them quite a turn.

All at once it leapt down and ran into the hall,

Where it chose to remain with its nose to the wall.

It was seemingly deaf to whatever they said,

So at last they stopped screaming, and went off to bed.

It joined them at breakfast and presently ate

All the syrup and toast, and a part of a plate.

It wrenched off the horn from the new gramophone,

And could not be persuaded to leave it alone.

It betrayed a great liking for peering up flues,

And for peeling the soles of its white canvas shoes.

At times it would tear out whole chapters from books,

Or put roomfuls of pictures askew on their hooks.

Every Sunday it brooded and lay on the floor,

Inconveniently close to the drawing-room door.

Now and then it would vanish for hours from the scene,

But, alas, be discovered inside a tureen.

It was subject to fits of bewildering wrath,

During which it would hide all the towels from the bath.

In the night through the house it would aimlessly creep,

In spite of the fact of its being asleep.

It would carry off objects of which it grew fond,

And protect them by dropping them into the pond.

It came seventeen years ago – and to this day

It has shown no intention of going away.

© Edward Gorey 1957, 1985.