Fun and Games

Early Pleasures and Pastimes coverEarly Pleasures and Pastimes

Submitter: We found this gem in our Children’s department of our public library, on a recent much needed weed. The children on the cover seem to enjoy waterboarding Grandpa. The actual photos inside are very disturbing. They dare you to wrestle a bear, and how about the crying little girl watching her beloved turkey get it’s head chopped off. I don’t understand why we had this one on the shelves for so long!

Holly: None of these are pleasures or appropriate pastimes for children! Pretty sure Grandpa is bobbing for apples. He doesn’t seem to be very good at it, though.

barnyard fun

bear wrestling

three's company

Thanksgiving turkey


  1. People in the old days had to find some way to keep themselves entertained. They didn’t have Tik Tok to take on stupid and dangerous challenges like eating their pet turkey after marinating it in heroine filled cough syrup back then. 🙂

    1. You know, as someone who has minor success on TikTok doing story creation and cosplay, I’m getting sick and tired of people bashing it. For the record stupid challenges have existed long before social media.

      1. People are also getting sick and tired of TikTok, so I guess we’re even.

    1. “Good Lord – I’ve heard about this – cat juggling! Stop! Stop! Stop it!”
      -Nathan Johnson

  2. I have never heard of pioneers just going out and finding a bear cub to wrestle. What a ridiculous and under-researched book! And the photos…the one of the kid riding a turkey is totally cut-and-paste “photoshop”-style mucking about from back in the day.

  3. They killed my mom’s pet turkey for Thanksgiving during the Depression.

    Nobody enjoyed the dinner, and they always made sure to buy/trade one from other farmers after that. At least they didn’t make her watch and listen!

    It seems to me that children wrestling bears was probably not looked on as smart even back then. One of the boys gets mauled and your manpower’s appreciably down, If the ants were really frozen, it’s NBD and perhaps the boys should have done that instead. And if finding the eggs all over the yard was such a hassle, then who’s gonna waste 40 eggs on a stupid barf challenge? Think of all the food Mom could have made for the family or the bee with 40 eggs.

    Wondering why Grandpa’s wearing a towel around his neck. It’s going to get wet and then so are his clothes. If they take turns, even more so. Also, for cryin’ out loud, bob in the tin bucket — it’s hard enough even that way, and you don’t have to drag in so much water from the well or stream. Maybe they all got mad at Gramps over little Sally’s turkey and they ARE waterboarding him!

      1. Even worse! Splashing water all over the fanciest room!

        Ma’s not going to be happy with them even if they don’t drown grandpa.

  4. WTWT?! I’d say withdraw it yesterday. Take out these photos and save for Dada art collage. This is what Jacques Prévert would use in his collages because they are all shocking and they grab your attention.

  5. It reads like a history book, not a how-to. I doubt many children (though it depends on your district) would be able to find a bear to wrestle, wanted or not.

    1. That makes it even worse, and WTF was the 80s librarian thinking?

      It’s still too old for its intended audience and should be weeded, but also shouldn’t have been published that late. OTOH that might explain the terrible research and lack of accuracy.

      Was an editor ever involved with her vast number of books, or was she able to churn out so many by never doing research or “wasting” time with editors?

  6. I feel bad for the little girl…..I get it was common in the days but it still sounds horrible. This is why I would not survive on a farm.

Comments are closed.