Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Ice-Cream Cone Coot

One of my favorite children's books from when I was a kid, and one I still love now is "The Ice-Cream Cone Coot and Other Rare Birds" by Arnold Lobel. This book describes in verse and artwork that has a mysterious quality to it, a variety of birds which are made up of common household items, such as umbrellas, cameras, brooms, and money such as the dollar bill dodo.

Beneath Arnold Lobel's original Dollar Bill Dodo is my own recent reinterpretation.

This book clearly had a major effect on me as my comics are often populated by scissor-headed birds and assassins, as well as beings with wasps nests and flower pots for heads, factory smokestacks for spines, etc., often with atrocious puns for names.

Last Fall, I came across "Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant" by Jack Prelutsky and with gorgeous collage art by Carin Berger. This book immediately reminded me of "The Ice-Cream Cone Coot." It's filled with fanciful creatures made out of common household items, often with terrible puns for names.

"The Ice-Cream Cone Coot" is sadly out of print, though shouldn't be too hard to track down, if you are so inclined. I recommend both books.


Robert Pope said...

Wow! I had "The Ice-Cream Cone Coot" too, and found the drawings both arresting and kind of haunting...wotta "Holy Crap I'm 40" moment! Thanks John! Oh, and I'm also the "Robert Pope" you've so generously plugged in the past with pics of our Scooby comics...I greatly enjoyed working on your stuff! Hope all's well with you!

(I also see you comment on my old pal Clay's blog from time to time as well! Small world, huh?)

Rozum said...

This was a nice surprise. I enjoyed working with you as well, though I hate to think of it as past tense. We Scooby-Doo vets sure did get the bums rush this past Fall.

I finally got to meet Clay last Spring. We should all come up with a project together.

Don't be a stranger.

Robert Pope said...

No stranger here! Cool that you met Clay!

Anonymous said...

Loved the Coot as a child, still have the book too! Thanks for the memories!

Tanya said...

Thank you for allowing me to see some pictures from one of my childhood favorites - Lobel's Ice Cream Cone Coot!!! I have a blog where I review kid's books and as I was researching Lobel to write post on Frog & Toad, this title (and your awesome blog) popped up. Your art work is wonderful and I plan to spend more time reading your blog & admiring your work asap! Thanks again - Tanya @