Monday, October 31, 2011


I KNOW the lag time between my posts grows ever longer. (The Cummings did take me two weeks to research and write, so it's not just my laziness.) In the meantime, let me direct your attention to a few new images added to my even less frequently updated Flickr set Dad's The One With The Pipe. For those of you who have never visited, the set's description:

"In the halcyon days of mid-20th century children's books, there were visual clues in the pictures to guide the nascent reader. If ever it was in doubt, a little boy or girl could look and know DAD'S THE ONE WITH THE PIPE."

This time around there are five almost identical images by Crockett Johnson of Harold and the Purple Crayon fame (see left) and one from the Little Golden Books master Tibor Gergely.

An interesting commentary on one of my favorite pipe-toting dad books, the Little Golden Book We Help Daddy, is the publisher's own censoring over the years. In the first edition, released in 1962, Dad brazenly smokes a pipe on the cover (and every other time we see him). In 1979 (the edition I have and scanned), Golden removed the pipe from the cover, but left it inside. In 1989, the pipe was gone completely. I'm uncomfortable with these kind of silent changes, but it does say a lot about our attitudes towards smoking. (I, for the record, am of course against smoking near children, or anywhere else for that matter.)

Dad's The One With The Pipe is a Flickr group, so I encourage everyone to join and to add images. I know there are lots more pops with pipes, and I count on you all to share them. I will try to get a real We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie post up sometime in November. Thanks to everyone for sticking with me.

All images are copyrighted © and owned by their respective holders.