Monday, July 23, 2007

Do You Know What I'm Going To Do Next Saturday? (flickr link)

This is a book I enjoyed as a little kid, and it's still a pretty interesting little artifact to look over now.

Written by Helen Palmer, with photographs by Lynn Fayman, it was published in 1963 by Random House Beginner Books.

As a child, when I was first reading this book I already didn't quite relate to the types of fun the hero enjoyed. But I still thought he was just about the epitome of what any 'real cool kid' should be.

Author Helen Palmer Geisel was the first wife of Ted 'Dr. Seuss' Geisel. She collaborated with photographer Lynn Fayman on two other books in the 'Beginner' series, though her most popular children's book was the more traditionally illustrated 'Fish Out Of Water'.

As the types of stories commonly told in children's books have changed a bit over the years, this book has become better known for its now-uncommon portrayals of guns and other dangerous pursuits.

There has also been a small amount of online notoriety surrounding this book, as rumors were started purporting this out-of-print book by 'Mrs. Seuss' to be a 'banned' book by Dr. Seuss.

You can read more on that bit of intrigue at Snopes, The Urban Legend Reference Pages (click for link)

The Snopes article also supplies some great capsule information on Helen Palmer Geisel and the rise of the 'Beginner Books' imprint.

To see some more images from this book, please follow the link to my flickr set:
'Do You Know What I'm Going To Do Next Saturday?'

I recommend the 'slideshow' mode for viewing those pages. Enjoy!

So - - I wonder what ever happened to the hyper-active kid in the book?
I wonder what he's got planned for Next Saturday these days?


Anonymous said...

The hyperactive kid in this book is my husband and the father of our two children. He keeps busy playing softball, golf and surfing.

Anonymous said...

That is fantastic :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, sounds like all the plans I used to make for when I would drop acid. Except for the whole section with the Marines.

LaVonne said...

I would so love to do a queer theory reading (yes, there is such a thing in literary criticism) of this book and this kid’s crush on Marines.

Actual excerpts from the book:

I’ll go shooting
with the United States Marines.
Little guns! Big guns!
I’ll shoot every gun
that they shoot."

"Next Saturday I’ll blow my head off."

"They may dump me over a wall."

Okay, so I edited it down a bit, but these lines actually came from that book. Awesome!

mansard peridot said...

i would TOTALLY take acid and get my hair cut like that.

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