From the Archives: Good Morning, Teacher

Nothing like a week’s worth of posts about grammar and punctuation to make you feel like you’re in school again.  So it seems only appropriate to feature Jene Barr’s Good Morning, Teacher (note the comma!) for this week’s archive. Published in 1957, with illustrations by Lucy and John Hawkinson, Good Morning, Teacher makes us remember a time in our lives when we were just learning to master words and learn the rules of all those tidy little sentences.  Sometimes we all could stand to have an encouraging voice like Miss Bell’s in our heads.

Barr, whose papers are in the De Grummond Children’s Literature Archive, was a teacher herself for many years, and her books for Whitman, with titles like Mr. Zip and the US Mail and Paul the Policeman, are the quintessence of 1950s children’s books. There’s something strangely poignant about the simple text of these stories.  The moment conveyed in the spread below, for instance, feels almost Raymond Carveresque, except that it’s as quietly hopeful as those little plants on the windowsill.

Oh, Miss Bell. Somebody loves you. Somebody loves us all.

Happy Friday!

From the Archives: Good Morning, Teacher

From the Archives: Skip Sees the Signs

We’ve been publishing books since 1919, which means we have one heck of an archive. Every Friday we highlight one of our more unusual, beautiful, or hilarious titles unearthed from the storage bins.

This week’s selection is Skip Sees the Signs, by Virginia Novinger; illustrated by Beth Wilson, 1953.


Does Skip see the signs of a world gone mad?  The cover would seem to indicate this.  And yet inside the book, to our delight, we find a gorgeous and orderly world rendered in that lush 50s Technicolor palette that we love.  It still looks dreamy after all these years. Look at those cars!

What are you doing this weekend? Maybe you’d like to take a drive over to Big Town and grab a bite at that new joint, Hot Dogs?

Me, too, my friends. Me, too.

From the Archives: Skip Sees the Signs