Book #182: Dahlia

Dahlia -- coverBarbara McClintock’s Dahlia — and so many of her illustration generally —  are reminiscent of the Victorian era, and remind me of John Tenniel’s famous representations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice. While McClintock has won some awards she has thus far eluded the Newbery Medal, which seems odd.  Here’s a great article about that, by the way.

Meanwhile, take a look at this kid.

Dahlia -- mudpies

And look at her room:

Dahlia -- Charlotte's room

Now look at her reaction to a present from Aunt Edme:

Dahlia -- new doll


Charlotte isn’t thrilled, obviously, since really all she wants to do is make mud pies and climb trees and race wagons with the boys. Still, she gives the doll a fair chance, and the three of them (there is of course the bear, Bruno) go off to mix it up. Surprisingly, the doll has no problem playing in the mud.  She weathers a fall out of tree without complaint, too, although she doesn’t look too nice when Aunt Edme comes to visit.

Charlotte’s Aunt is charmed when she sees the battered, happy doll.  After all, she had hoped the doll would be played with “out in the sunshine.”

You must marvel at these amazingly detailed pictures and wonder why Barbara McClintock isn’t a household name. She’s made so many wonderful books. Back in the day she put in a call to Maurice Sendak, too, asking for advice. He told her to move to New York.  Which she did, for a time.  ABZ

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