Moe Q. McGlutch, He Smoked Too Much
Credit, once again, goes to the fabulous Carrie Anne of the Little Big blog. You simply must check out her blog for all kinds of goodness!
Little Big: “Ellen Raskin, writer, illustrator, fashion designer, author of “The Westing Game”, is a badass. She wrote a children’s book about a smoking donkey, and she kills him without flinching in the end. Your kids will love it!”
Holly: This book is alive and well in many a library. Why? Because you loved it when you were a child. Am I right? You hate weeding things you remember from your childhood and have pure intentions of sharing it with your own children. That’s lovely! What you should do is buy the copy that is currently available in the Little Big Vintage Shop on Etsy (for yourself, not for your library!). And then what you should do is go back to your library and weed this ridiculous picture book from the shelves.
Yes, it was written by THE Ellen Raskin of “The Westing Game” fame. Yes, she was a Newbery Award winner. In 1979. My little sister was born in 1979. She’s now 35 years old, people! The book is 39! Let it go! There are books that stand the test of time. Babar, Madeline, and Corduroy come to mind. Moe Q. McGlutch does not fall into this category.
A Twitter friend steered me to this title as a possibility for discussion. Our story is that Mommy picked unnamed child up from school. Girl goes with Mommy to visit Dr. Michael, a plastic surgeon that looks like he has been doing steroids. Older brother Billy and Daddy were not invited, evidently. Girl asks Mommy why she has to do this. Mommy evidently is getting a tummy tuck and a nose job. Unnamed girl is concerned Mommy will look different. No, Mommy will just be MORE beautiful. Anyway, everything is wonderful and no one has any complications.
I can’t believe that this is an under-served patron need (maybe in Beverly Hills). My first instinct is to say this is a ridiculous book and a waste of collection budget. However, in the interest of open and thoughtful collection quality discussions, I will keep an open mind.
Looking for brain bleach,
Submitter: I guess this could be a really cute concept; photos of a doll and all of her little toy friends. BUT NO! It is really quite creepy. One page (scanned) shows big bear paddling dolly whilst baby bear sits idly by. “I may be a silly, but I know when a naughty little girl needs a spanking.” This was donated to our library and whilst I did copy pages to post in our staff room, there is no way I would add this to our children’s collection!
Holly: I remember this book! I used to look for this book every time I went to the library when I was a kid (late 1970s, early 1980s). It is definitely creepier now that I see it as an adult. I used to think the doll seemed so life-like and I had a sort of morbid fascination with the spanking part. I was a weird kid.
Collection-wise, if you have a copy in good shape, it probably hasn’t circulated much – so weed it. If you have unlimited space, by all means keep it for another 55 years. That teddy bear can terrorize poor Edith the Lonely Doll for three more generations of readers.