Friday, May 6

bookshelf -father fox's pennyrhymes

Author Clyde Watson and her sister Wendy grew up in a 200 year old farmhouse in Putney, Vermont, part of a large family of siblings. Parents were the children's author Nancy Dingman Watson and the prolific author/illustrator and DIY-r Aldren Auld Watson.

Just found our copy of Father Fox's Pennyrhymes (1971) recently, serious flashback. The Father Fox of the story is the author's father and not hard to pin the rambunctious foxes on her siblings. Love all the patched knees, long johns, and general crumpled appearance of the family [pot/kettle ed.] The illustrations by Wendy have lots of little details and jokes included, definitely click the images to enlarge. Images below via JuliaLBailey and ClioBrown
Our household was a very lively and noisy place. There were always about 99 things going on at once. In one corner there might be a child playing with a basket of kittens while another fed a baby goat from a bottle. A pet hen, Hepzibah, strolled in and out of the house as she pleased, occasionally laying an egg on the kitchen floor. There were always people in the kitchen making butter, baking bread or cookies, preparing or cleaning up after a meal. From the shop you might hear hammering and sawing, and there were usually two or three people busy sewing, reading, or drawing. Floating above the din created by all of this activity piano, violin, cello, or flute music could often be heard, for we were all expected to practice our instruments daily.

Dad was very patient with the frequent intrusions of his curious children, though looking back I wonder how on earth he wrote and illustrated over 150 books with eight of us interrupting him all the time. Sometimes we just wanted a certain kind of paper, or to be helped with stitching up a quick little book. At other times we would bring our little arguments or skinned knees to him for comfort or judicial action.
-via ClydeWatson