Captain Kangaroo (Little Golden Book)

CBS Television's Captain Kangaroo (A Little Golden Book) by Kathleen N. Daly,
illustrated by Art Seiden.  Simon & Schuster, 1956.

Before Mr. Rogers, before Sesame Street, there was Captain Kangaroo.  Bob Keeshan's Captain Kangaroo premiered on CBS in 1955 - a year before my mother was born! - and ran for nearly 30 years, before being cancelled in 1984.  I have fuzzy little memories of getting up very early in the morning to watch the Captain.  Sadly, those memories are so vague that although I can picture Keeshan in his red suit and some of the other characters (Mr. Green Jeans), I can't recall much else.  It was on so early in the morning by then.

Of course, before he wore red, Captain Kangaroo wore navy blue.  And in 1956, the blue-suited Captain appeared in his first Little Golden Book, illustrated by the great Art Seiden. [My first Seiden book on the blog!  Wow...] I've photographed the entire book for you.  Forgive me for not scanning it, but as you can see, my copy is very brittle (and therefore, very inexpensive!), and I doubt it would survive the scanner.

I shouldn't end this post without providing you with a little something to watch!  Here is a show opening from the early days of Captain Kangaroo:

And here is an episode someone uploaded to YouTube, labeled 3/4/1961:

From the color days.  My memories of the show date from the end of the '70s to the early '80s.

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Weekend Reading

Experimenting with my camera in Wichita's Old Town district.

Happy Sunday, dear readers!  How are you?  If your kids are back in school, how is your health?  I have caught a head cold.  This makes me a whiny baby.  School has been back in session for a couple of weeks now, and lots of my friends seem to have caught stuff.  I am determined to get over this ASAP.  Saturday is Big Sis's birthday, and we are having a tie-dye t-shirt party in our backyard on her actual birthday.  (This is a big deal to her.)  And the Thursday after that is when I'm supposed to have nasal surgery.  My recurrent strep is due to my deviated septum.  My tonsils are fine.  I have strep nose!  Another reason this cold has me feeling antsy.

Enough grossness!  How about some books?  These are a few of the things we read this week.

What We Read

Bonjour Camille by Felipe Cano, illustrated by Laia Aguilar.  Chronicle Books, 2014.

This is a very stylish picture book. It is the size of a middle-grade hardcover, but it is actually a beautiful picture book about a girl named Camille and the very quirky, imaginative ways she spends her Sunday.  It was first published in Spain.  I do not know much about the author, although the illustrator is co-founder of the Spanish clothing company Bobo Choses.  We decided that if you changed "Camille" to another C name, this book could be about Little Sis.  There is even a page about drawing faces on balloons, which is one of Little Sis's favorite pastimes.  To see more from this book, along with a cute fortune teller craft, see Danielle's awesome post over at This Picture Book Life.

Journey by Aaron Becker.  Candlewick Press, 2013.

We're a bit late to the party.  Journey was a Caldecott Honor Book this year, and I saw photos and posts about it all over the blogosphere.  We finally checked it out for ourselves.  Wooooowwww...  It is a wordless picture book, but no words are needed.  Becker's illustrations tell the story perfectly.  It owes a debt to Harold and the Purple Crayon, but the visual style is so completely different.  It's the first of a trilogy, and the second book, Quest, was just released this month!

This is Hong Kong by M. Sasek.  Originally published by Macmillan, 1965.  Reissued by Universe, 2007.

M. Sasek's travel picture books are so beautiful to look at.  This one was no exception.  What strikes me while reading them is how much of the information is no longer true.  You're reading about what that place was like 40 or 50 years ago.  Big Sis and I read the book together, marveling at the pictures, while I interrupted occasionally to explain the things I knew had changed.  We made mental notes of things we wanted to research further.  

Here is a short modern travel guide from Expedia.  The books are gorgeous to look at, and serve as wonderful time capsules.  They do serve as a nice starting point to discuss change, and how cities evolve, in terms of landscape, politics, economy, etc.

Dinosaur Vs. School by Bob Shea.  Disney / Hyperion, 2014.

Somehow I missed this one! I would have included it in my Back to School Picture Books post.  We love Bob Shea, and his Dinosaur Vs. series is so cute.  And small children love them.  One of my favorite storytimes at the bookstore was when I read a couple of Bob Shea Dinosaur books, along with New Socks.  I had TWICE my usual turnout.  Kids were excited!  Anyway, in this one, Dinosaur starts preschool!  "Dinosaur vs...."  "New friends!" "Dressing up!" "Glitter, glue and googly eyes!"  A very cute book for a little A

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires.  Kids Can Press, 2014.

This little book is so simple, but so great.  A little girl has an idea to make The Most Magnificent Thing.  We don't know what this magnificent thing is.  We watch her try and fail numerous times, along with her doggy best friend and various bystanders.  It's a book about failure and the idea that if you keep trying, you just might see your idea come to life.  The girls clapped at the end and declared they want a Most Magnificent Thing just like hers.

Hilda and the Black Hound by Luke Pearson.  Flying Eye Books, 2014.

More Hildafolk!  Now, we are all caught up on the adventures of Hilda.  In this installment, Hilda has joined the Sparrow Scouts, and wants to earn lots of patches, like her mom did at her age.  Unfortunately, everything Hilda attempts fails, as she is distracted by homeless Nisse, little house spirits who are being kicked out of homes all over Trolberg.  In addition to the Nisse, there is a very large black dog loose around the town.  The girls and I love how Scandinavian-style mythology floats in and around our favorite blue-haired heroine.  We are huge Hilda fans now.

What I'm Reading

The Elevator Ghost by Glen Huser.  Groundwood Books, 2014.

I just started this one.

Yes, I knew I had to read it because of the awesome cover.

I'm going to save it for my October Halloween Fest, though.  You'll hear more about it from me then.

Happy Labor Day tomorrow to everyone in the U.S.  The girls have an in-service day on Tuesday, so they're out of school until Wednesday!  Big Sis is at a birthday party this morning.  We were supposed to go to a cook-out this afternoon, but I'm still deciding how I feel.  Don't want to get a bunch of theatre people sick.

Merry Three-Day Weekend to some of you, Merry Sunday to the rest!  Happy Reading!

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