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The Friendly Book (1954): More Like “Affable”, Really

Margaret Wise Brown, The Friendly Book (Golden Press, 1954)

Three happy children hug wild animals on the book's cover.

Personally, I have never tried to hug a raccoon. I am guessing it would not go over that well.
photo credit: Barnes and Noble

The farther I get outside the Goodnight Moon circle of Margaret Wise Brown books, the more I understand that saying about lightning never striking twice. The Friendly Book is the weakest book the Brown corpus we’ve encountered so far. It seems to be an attempt at poetry. To Brown’s credit, the structure of most of the pieces of the book is the same, though that structure is very flawed; the first half of each poem (each of which is title “I Like _____”, with a different fitb for each) is a simple list of things, while the second is a quatrain that actually approaches verse. Had the whole book resembled those second halves, this might at least be half-decent. On the other hand, it isn’t, and it isn’t, respectively. **

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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