The Read Balloon: Ten Little Babies

Part of what I love about being a parent, besides the obvious glamour, glory, and sleep deprivation, are the weird subterranean dives into your childhood that you take at the least likely moments.  For example:

gyo fujikawa ten little babies

Ten Little Babies, Gyo Fujikawa. Big hit around here.

Lately we’ve been fielding a lot of requests for “ten babies,” otherwise known as Gyo Fujikawa’s Ten Little Babies, and we are always happy to oblige — it’s one of those rare books that the whole family loves.  The  retro-y illustrations are adorable, populated by a jolly crew of ethnically diverse little cherubs wearing, incidentally, very cute outfits; the numbering is graphically appealing; the rhythmic text can go playful or soothing; in other words, it has everything a good picture book needs.  Okay, there are some slightly scary moments. (Um, Number 4: “Four frisky babies playing in a tree, CRACK went a branch, and then there three. ”  What the! The baby FELL out of the TREE? Did it SURVIVE? I mean, my word.) And the ending is sort of bittersweet.  All in all, major winner.  Harper loves it and we love it.  Beautiful.

gyo fujikawa oh what a busy day

Oh What a Busy Day: Hello, nostalgia burst!

So, in looking up Gyo Fujikawa I came across one of her other books, Oh What a Busy Day!, which I must have had as a child.  Immediately upon seeing the cover, I was flooded with very strong, pleasant memories of long hours (okay, I must have been really little, so probably actually just long minutes, but you know how intently kids look at things) spent poring over the illustrations.  I mean, I knew that the pink-cheeked little kiddos in Ten Little Babies appealed to me in some vaguely nostalgic way, but I didn’t realize I’d rediscovered an author/illustrator I loved as a child until just now. (I also just learned that she, like Mary Blair, worked for Disney — go figure.)

gyo fujikawa fairy tales and fables

Fairy Tales and Fables. I'm feeling a little obsessed with the dragon's mustache.

So I don’t know about you, but I’m about to busy myself ordering tons of Gyo Fujikawa books, a convenient way to both spend money and acquire more large, heavy physical possessions, just in time for Christmas present season!

gyo fujikawa christmas

Merry Christmas, little elves.


3 responses to “The Read Balloon: Ten Little Babies

  1. OMG, Amy! Miss Fujikawa (as I learned to call her) lived in my parents’ apartment building when I was growing up. She was such a lovely woman and often invited me over to tea when I was a little girl. You just totes took me back—thank you!

  2. Pingback: The Read Balloon: Oh What a Busy Day, by Gyo Fujikawa | household words

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