Vintage Illustrations: Pleasant Fieldmouse’s Halloween PartyPosted: October 24, 2011
It’s a spectacularly rainy day here in Devon, so we decided to take a trip to Totnes. Unfortunately, the pickings were fairly slim in the town’s charity shops. However, we did find this little gem and after some deliberation (and yummy veggie food at the Willow cafe), I decided to buy it:
I got thoroughly drenched on our walk round; my own fault for being stubborn and not taking the brolly with me. It’s lovely and cosy to be back in the cottage now: laptop on, cup of tea and fire merrily flickering away behind me. Even the rain spattering outside is adding to the cosiness. The book is delightful. I’m so glad I bought it. Already, my mind is whirling with ideas of what to do with it. I think some Halloween-themed lessons will be in order next week.
The book, ‘Pleasant Fieldmouse’s Halloween Party’ was written by Jan Wahl in 1974. This edition was published in Great Britain in 1976. The gorgeous pictures are by Wallace Tripp. Other books about Pleasant Fieldmouse have been illustrated by Maurice Sendak, but I much prefer Trip’s whimsical and beautiful drawings. The sleeve jacket reads:
“When swallows fly south and pumpkins turn orange, the forest animals get ready for winter. But Pleasant Fieldmouse isn’t thinking about the cold wind – he’s planning a Halloween party! When the moonlit, spooky night arrives, there are rustling sounds… and sudden, scary noises! The mysterious capers that precede the party guarantee a night of surprises for everyone, including some uninvited guests, and especially Pleasant Fieldmouse. The lively and warm illustrations by Wallace Tripp are a perfect complement to Jan Wahl’s rambunctious and humourous- BOO!”
These are some of my favourite drawings from the book – how cute are the tiny mice in their little ghost costumes? And with the sentence, “Some end-of-year honeybees flew, timidly, as tiny, tiny bee ghosts.” you can’t fail to be captured by the writing as well.
The poor mole – moles are always portrayed as boring and miserable. I wonder why it is? I’ve got quite an affection for moles…
Unfortunately, I’m having huge problems with the internet here. Blame the rural location, horrendous weather or my own ineptitude. Either way, it’s taken two hours to get this far… so I’ll continue with pictures from the next part of the story another day.