Saturday, November 17, 2012

How Joe the Bear and Sam the Mouse Got Together

story by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers
illustrated by Brinton Turkle
Parents Magazine Press

Sorry about the blurriness of the pictures on the edges.  I'm longing for a wand scanner, but for now I must putter away with my dinosaur that eats the edges off every two page spread.  But this post must go on.  So . . .

Meet Sam.  And Joe.  They are two very different fellas who live in two very different worlds, but both long to find some commonality on which to base a friendship.  The book opens when they meet, and soon discover that they both are seeking new places to live.

"Let's live together!"  They both exclaim.

But Joe likes a big house - Sam likes a small.  No small surprise there for the reader, but a surprise indeed for our characters.  They spend a page or two honking their noses and wiping away tears.

Well, if they can't live together, maybe they can play ball!  That's it! 

But Joe likes football - Sam likes baseball.

That umbrella is a nice touch, don't you think? 

How about cycling?

Nah.  Not that either.

Poor guys.  I'm afraid those hankies are going to need a good wringing out before this story is over.  But the story does have a happy ending.  For once, I'll break my own no spoilers rule, because I'd hate for you to worry about poor ol' Sam and Joe. 

They will always live in separate houses.
They will always play at different games.

Some things never change. 
And I will never, ever give away an ending.


  1. My kids loved this book. They loved all Brinton Turkle's books; his illustrations are magical. My kids were all long grown and gone before I found Turkle's "The Fiddler of High Lonesome". I was glad of that because the book is dark, and it would have made them sad. If we had owned that book when they were young, I couldn't have kept them away from it because the illustrations are exceptional, among Turkle's best.

  2. I'll have to track that one down! We love Turkle also, and that's one I haven't seen.

  3. Ok. I'm intrigued. I can't find a synopsis online. What's Fiddler about?

  4. I'll take some pictures and send them to you. But I may not get that done until after Thanksgiving :-)

    The book is about a homeless orphan who seeks out some kinfolk to live with. But these kinfolk turn out to be mean, shotgun-shooting, brawling, bootlegging hillbillies. Little Lysander Bochamp's only leverage in life is his skill with a fiddle. But even that leads to deep sadness.

    This book is not like Turkle's other books - which, even when they have a pensive touch like "Thy Friend, Obadiah", are heartwarming and uplifting.

    I have enjoyed making my way through your archived posts. You write with such enjoyment about so many, many of the very same books my children and I loved back in the 70's and 80's.