Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Charlie Yup and pals

Detail from Flora's third children's book, Charlie Yup and His Snip-Snap Boys (1959). Charlie, who wields a mean scissors (his "Snip-Snap Boys" are paper cut-outs), is in the upper left astride Beezer, his "helicopter horse."

For fans—like us—of Flora's 1950s big-eyed figures, this was the end of the line, his last satisfying children's book on an artistic level. He wrote and illustrated 14 more, which sold well and charmed generations of young readers. But our favorites remain the first three (Fabulous Firework Family, The Day the Cow Sneezed, and Charlie Yup), all produced during the 1950s. His next book, Leopold the See-Through Crumbpicker, published in 1961, showcased an entirely different style of character illustration.

Charlie Yup is the rarest of Flora's books. It rarely turns up on Ebay or with antiquarian book dealers—and when it does, the price is lofty.


Ernie said...

I guess there's no such thing as sales figures for Flora's books. But if this is the rarest one, that would imply that it sold the least and that would certainly explain the change in style. Yet another example of not knowing what you've got until it's gone.

Anonymous said...

The Grants Pass Oregon public library had a copy when i was a kid. I loved that book. I wished I could read it again, just to see if it was as good as I remember.