Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Books I Love...LITTLE BLACK SAMBO By Helen Bannerman

"A beautiful new edition of the original Sambo story that belongs in every child's library. The amusing, sparkling illustrations do full justice to this famous tale of the appealing little black boy who lived in the jungle."
I always loved the Sambo story, because I always loved pancakes, and so did Sambo. This edition published in 1942 is the one I love best. I have several editions, including some very early ones, that are nowhere near as apealling as this one. The illustrations are stilted, and not very colorful, more like stick figures. G&D did a great job when they published this. It is a shame that political correctness has put a tarnish on this lovely story, of courage, and family togetherness. I was alway very pleased that Sambo was able to outwit the tigers and get all that butter (which I also loved) for the piles of pancakes that Mambo made.....which reminds me of another story my Mother used to tell.
Barely past the depression, and still living in stringent times, although Daddy now had a job, we went grocery shopping Friday's after work. We went to Putman's market for meat, Acme market for canned goods, Grant's for any clothing purchases budgeted for that week ....socks for Dad if they were past mending, and of course we kids outgrew stuff faster than it could be replaced.
Sometimes if we had a lot of groceries, we would get a Cab home. Mostly we walked each carrying a paper bag scaled to our ability. This time, I don't remember how we got home, because Ed and I were quite small. Mom told us that they set the grocery bags on the kitchen table. She and Dad had to do something out in back before they checked the groceries. I think it had started to rain and they were bringing the clean clothes in off the clothesline before they were soaked. They always checked each grocery item against the register tape to be sure they had all they had paid for, and each price was charged correctly. If there were any errors, even if something had been put in the bag without being charged, Dad would go back to the store and make it right.
When they came back into the house after rescuing the clean clothes, they found Ed and I, up on the kitchen table with the groceries each eating a bit from a stick of butter. We must have worked up an appetite from the long walk home from downtown.