Spud’s reading repertoire needed a little livening up last week, so we visited the “new book” shelf in the children’s section at the library. I quickly selected four titles, glancing briefly at the covers and illustrations, checked them out, and headed out the door.
Not until naptime story did I discover that I had found a real gem: Market Day written by Carol Foskett Cordsen and illustrated by Douglas B. Jones.
I originally chose this book because I knew Spud would like the cow, but I have to admit that I fleetingly thought, that based on the title, the book would be capitalizing on increased interest in local, organic foods. From the first page, my inner skeptic was quickly silenced.
Cordsen’s rhyming text packs a punch. This is not the twangy, sing-song-y rhyme that is so predictable in many children’s books.
Instead, this is some of the most intelligent rhyme I’ve ever read in a children’s book, moving the story from beginning to end with more description and details woven into the few words than you first realize. This is the kind of book I would have read as a teacher in my writing classes to demonstrate “show, don’t tell” to my students. I was glad Spud wanted to read this one over and over.
The story follows the Benson family through their preparations for the day’s Farmer’s Market. In their rush to get to the market on time, everyone forgets to feed the family cow and shut the farm gate. The hungry bovine trails them to their destination and chaos ensues. But, of course, everything is set to rights by the time the market opens and the day is a success.
I’m a sucker for anything with with a vintage, 40’s/50’s, country vibe, and Jones’ illustrations reeled me in. A perfect compliment to the rollicking story, they are reminiscent of Robert McCloskey’s work.
Somehow I missed Cordsen and Jones’ first collaboration: The Milkman, which also tells about the Benson family; it’s on the list for our next library visit.
As for Market Day, someone just might find it on the table for their second (!) birthday in 3 months (!)
(excuse me while I go sob hysterically)