Fortunately by Remy Charlip

Fortunately by Remy Charlip. Parents Magazine Press, 1969.
Currently published by Aladdin, 1993.

Have you or your kids ever played the game Fortunately/Unfortunately?  Big Sis told me she played this in drama class at school. The kiddos sit in a circle, and the first person starts a story by saying, "Fortunately..." The next person adds to the story, beginning with the word "unfortunately." They go around the circle, alternating "fortunately" with "unfortunately," letting the story build from there.

Well, coincidentally, I had checked out several books illustrated by Remy Charlip from the library this month, and one of those books is a great illustration of the game!

On the first page, we meet Ned. "Fortunately one day, Ned got a letter that said, 'Please Come to a Surprise Party.'"

"But unfortunately the party was in Florida and he was in New York."

Fortunately, Ned is able to borrow a plane. Unfortunately, it explodes. We see Ned parachute, get a hole in said parachute, spot a haystack in which to land, avoid the haystack because of a stray pitchfork, land in water, get chased by sharks, make it to land, get chased by tigers, find a cave, dig his way out...  Whew! Finally he crashes a party, but it's okay - the party is for him!

This is some silly fun, and the girls were giggling throughout the story. I love the way the "Fortunately" pages are in color, while the "Unfortunately" pages are in black and white.

As for the game... I like this game! I think I will use it on car trips.

Let me try it now.

Fortunately we read this great book. Unfortunately my camera is a bit dinged and wouldn't allow for the best photographs. Fortunately I managed to take some anyway. Unfortunately Mabel wanted to play and kept casting shadows. Fortunately she is very photogenic.

Unlike many awesome vintage kids' books, this one is still in print! If I were an educator, I would definitely want it in my classroom.

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  1. I think this is one of my all time favourites - I love the expressions on Neds face, the pitchfork, the colour of the water - all of it!

    1. I had never read it before now. I was reading an old interview with Brian Selznick, about how he used Remy Charlip as his model for Georges Melies in The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I'd read that before, but this time I went hunting to see if we'd ever checked out any of Charlip's books, and found that we hadn't. This was my favorite of the three I was able to get.

  2. COOl!! I think Julia was telling me about this game! I think. That sounds really fun, both the book and the game, I'll ask her if she's heard of this!

    1. Little Sis and I played it in the car on the way home from school yesterday. It's fun! :)


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