OLD MAN UP A TREE by Gareth- Illus. damson


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From the tweedy old man who goes up a tree to the audience he gathers, this was ""Made in England"" stamped all over it. These are the British stereotypes that gather to watch the climbing old man -- a baker with an open basket of unwrapped ; a swami-turbaned Indian peddler; a Colonel Blimp type of soldier; a Jack Tar ailor; a member of the newly rich class; and a thief dressed in the Edwardian costume beloved of Teddy Boys. Only the hobo in the crowd makes the Atlantic crossing for recognition value. All but the Teddy Boy have rationalized the larceny that drives each of them up the tree to see what treasure the old man might have there. He stays on the ground and makes off with everyone else's loot. Of course, the old man has only gone up the tree for the view. The view here is -- too parochial in conception and execution for an American audience. If we shudder away from the use of American stereotypes in books for children, why should we find those from abroad amusing?

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 1963
Publisher: Abelard-Schuman