Hoarding is not collection development

D is for Dying

The Mime Alphabet Book
Gaslorowicz
1974

This is a picture book for young children learning the alphabet.  As you read through, the left page is the letter and a word spelled out, then on the right page is a picture of a mime acting out the word.  Cute.

Except… the words they chose are not child-friendly at all!  What ever happened to “a is for apple” and “d is for dog?” Good grief, they’ve got a for astonishment, d for dying, g for guilty, m for miraculous; very few of the letters are kid-friendly at all.  My personal favorite is x.  Scroll down to see the brilliant word they assigned to x.

Plus, there’s the mime situation.  Mary loves a good mime.  She calls them “the other clowns.”

Enjoy!

Holly

Well, THAT’S not scary.

How does this stance mean “guilty”??

Xeno-what??  This book is for very young children! Like, toddlers!!

12 Responses to D is for Dying

  • The greatest thing about this book is that because it’s in black and white and because of the make-up she’s wearing, if you squint you can imagine that it’s The Crow in mime form.

  • I have this book, and I love it. It never occurred to me that it was supposed to be for kids–I just thought it was a cool art book, the classic children’s format twisted & sat on its ear.

    If I recall correctly, it was put together by 2 teenaged sisters, one a mime & the other a photographer.

  • I think this is my favourite Awful Book so far. Of all time. Xenophobia? What was wrong with a good old Xylophone for goodness’ sake….? Or ‘X-ray’… She could have worn a Halloween skeleton costume for that one.

  • For the next week or so, my dreams will be haunted by the face of a dying mime.

    Thanks, ALB!

  • Are we SURE this book was designed for children?

  • I’m actually not disturbed by this book at all. Mainly because I can’t get over how cute her shoes are.

  • There is a fine tradition of adult alphabet books (just do a search with those words in Worldcat). It is a form that gives itself over to many beautiful approaches and fun words. Just move it to the adult section of the library if the words disturb you. On the other hand, I think the word “xenophobia” is an important one for children to learn.

  • more pictures please!

  • “Guilty” must be for unsavory characters on “Criminal Mimes.”

  • If we have to have a morbid alphabet book, it should be Gashleycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey.

    “W is for Winnie, embedded in ice;

    X is for Xerxes, devoured by mice.”

    Another couple of images to haunt children’s dreams.

  • Hilarious! I would totally buy this book, were it in the adult section of course.

  • gorey lives!