Wednesday, 18 April 2012

How Little Lori Visited Times Square

I received this beautiful little gem of a hardback in the post last week. Originally published in 1963, the author is Amos Vogel and the pictures are by Maurice Sendak of Where the Wild Things Are fame. E knows that this one is 'mommy's book' and it requires sitting down with an adult in order to read it. We'll see how long that lasts.

Little Lori is a young boy in New York City who decides he wants to visit Times Square.  He goes uptown and downtown on subways and trains but never gets to the right stop. He rides a helicopter, jumps on a boat and even tries to take a taxi in hope of reaching Times Square.  All of his adventures are in vain, however, and after his final attempt via an elevator at Macy's he collapses in a heap of tears.  It's a turtle who comes to his rescue.  A turtle who talks very slowly (one word per page at this point), a turtle who for some reason makes me think of Shel Silverstein's The Missing Piece.  The turtle kindly offers to take Lori, at last, to Times Square.  Lori hops on his back and they start making their way to Times Square ... v e r y  s l o w l y.

There is a fair amount of text on some pages and potentially more details than a toddler will fully understand.  However, E seems to grasp that there's a journey and a series of adventures and basically he loves looking at the boats, trains and the general wonderfulness of Sendak's illustrations of New York City scenes.  Thankfully he's happy to sit still while I read this book cover to cover (with a little pace admittedly).  And maybe that's why he seems to really hone in when we meet the turtle.  Up until that point there's a flurry of text and illustrations and time moving quickly and Lori covering lots of blocks and miles and suddenly it all comes to a dramatic halt and the turtle speaks.

E seems to be as fond of this book as I am and I'm beginning to wonder if maybe I should just let him get his hands on it.  One more read for me and I'll consider it.

You may have to hunt around for this one or ask your local bookshop to order it.  It's published by HarperCollins and my copy has a renewed copyright date of 1991. Amos Vogler is much written about for his role as a film historian and especially for founding Cinema 16, a film society in the USA. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. This has been my favorite book since it was given to me as a four year old. I now read it to my sons.

    Sadly, since you wrote your review both Amos Vogel and Maurice Sendak passed away--within three weeks of each other.

    Touching, I think.... and nobody has heard from them since.