PPBF: Newell Duet

I hope I have the pleasure of introducing author/illustrator Peter Newell‘s (1862-1924) work to someone here, as I only recently discovered it myself. He began his artist’s life using crayons to ‘paint’ portraits, before turning to children’s books. The following two classics are the ones I could get through my library system – maybe you can get The Hole Book through yours. If you can’t – go to Project Gutenberg to view all three ebooks.

This first edition on sale now for $1,250

Author/Illustrator: Peter Newell
Harper & Brothers, 1910; Tuttle Publishing, 1969
Age Level: 4 and up, way up!
Themes: shaped/novelty book, American town life, story in rhyme
Opening: Where Bobby lives there is a hill-, A hill so steep and high, ‘Twould fill the bill for Jack and Jill, Their famous act to try
Summary: (From Tuttle) In The Slant Book, a go cart, a newsboy, and the force of gravity make for a most excellent adventure in a busy American town. As an added bonus, the book is actually set on a slant!!

Buy a new edition direct from Tuttle for $16.95

Publisher: Harper & Brothers, 1912; Tuttle Publishing, 1969
Age Level: 4 and up, way WAY up!
Themes: novelty book, story in rhyme, rockets
Opening: The Basement: When Fritz, the janitor’s bad kid, Went snooping in the basement, He found a rocket snugly hid Beneath the window casement.
Summary: (From Library of Congress) The upward progress of a rocket, lit in the basement by the janitor’s son, causes some strange situations as it passes through 20 floors of apartments!

Why I like these books: Are you kidding? You don’t think I have to explain it, do you? Didn’t think so!

Resources/Activities: make your own novelty books or cards – HERE is a link to the how-to site of the contemporary pop-up master: Robert Sabuda; introduce turn-of-the-(20th)-century kids’ life with both books; use the The Slant book to discuss gravity and make a list of items in the classroom that might roll first if the room were on a slant.

As a treat for hanging with me this long – the trailer to this SNAP animated app:

27 thoughts on “PPBF: Newell Duet

  1. You are right, you don’t need to explain, Julie. . .I LOVE these books! What a treasure. And the video is charming. Who would have known there was a book app (or maybe it was just a promotion) for an older publication? I’m going to search for it!


  2. What treasures you found. I love books of that period. I found some of my mother’s childhood books and have held on to them. They are so uniquely printed. I have the The Land of Oz (hardback but the cover is cloth), and it survived a great flood in the early 1900s. It originally was my grandfather’s book which shows he read it in 1904. My mother recorded her name and date and all of my siblings who read it. I rarely open it because it so fragile. Thanks for the memories.


  3. Excellent idea, Julie. I saw Rocket Book on Pinterest as was blown away by how modern it was – -and how funny. I have been meaning to find out about the artist and his books. Thanks for giving me a head start. (And I LOVE! Robert Sabuda!!)
    You are awesome!


  4. I was trying to play the video without Enzo seeing it. He is seriously in a rocket phase right now! hee hee. We’ll check out the app.


  5. We have The Hole Book at our house and it is a fabulous book. A 1908 printing. The Hole Book is much like the rocket book. A bullet gets shot from a gun and travels through various scenes making a hole in each page. I love it because it smells so good. The Mom Person loves it because it is such a clever book and because the one we have is full of the owner child’s drawings! She found this treasure at Half-Price Books many years ago. I didn’t know that Mr Newell had other fantastic stories!!! Thanks for sharing such treasures!!


  6. Pingback: PPBF: The Turnaround Wind | julie rowan-zoch

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