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The Funny Thing Hardcover – Sep 24 2003
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About the Author
Wanda Gg (1893-1946) was born in New Ulm, Minnesota, the daughter of an artist and the eldest of seven children. In recognition of her rare artistry, she was the posthumous recipient of the 1958 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award for "Millions of Cats" and the 1977 Kerlan Award for the body of her work.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Then I ended up with a little girl of my own and found myself desperately wanting to read her that wonderful story from that long-lost book. I turned to my good friend Google, on which you can find absolutely anything, and entered: "And very good they are. Jumjills." Wanda Gag came right up. I ordered the book for my little squirt for Christmas that year.
The best thing about getting her the book was that I got to discover Wanda Gag's illustrations for the first time. For some reason, the book in which I'd first read the story had used very pastel, very post-WWII illustrations that were largely pink and green -- all right, but not too memorable. Now, 30 years later, I was savoring the elegant, shapely, flowing, organic Artsy-Craftsy lines of Wanda Gag's work.
As an avid reader of children's picture books, I've noticed an unfortunate fact: The books with great stories that are good for reading aloud to small children are not necessarily the ones with beautiful pictures, and vice versa. But here is a book with a story that was fun and delightful with blase post-WWII illustrations, and here it turned up in my life again with truly gorgeous ones, by the author herself, no less. A book like that is a rare treasure!
Something that I find rather interesting is that this is the story about a little man named Bobo who lives in an underground house with a round door and offers seed puddings to a "Funny Thing" that is clearly a dragon. A different sort of children's book was published eight years later, a book about a little man named Bilbo who lives in an underground house with a round door and serves seed cake to dwarves who drag him off to steal treasure from a dragon. Hmm. I have to wonder if my beloved Mr. Tolkien saw this picture book and was influenced by it. It's in rather a similar style as his own beautiful drawings, too.