Monday, November 24, 2008

Orange crate art (Brown)

[Illustration by Leonard Shortall.]

Encyclopedia Brown and Sally Kimball match wits:

The great battle of brains took place in the Tigers' clubhouse. The two champions, seated on orange crates, faced each other. The Tigers crowded behind Encyclopedia. The girls' softball team crowded behind Sally. That left just enough room in the tool shed to think.

Donald J. Sobol, Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1963) 24–25
Thinking about the Scholastic Book Club and reading some comments at Boing Boing made me want to read Encyclopedia Brown books. Yes, I'm reading Encyclopedia Browns. And I understand now why my daughter read so many of them when she was younger.

One element I especially like in these stories: irrefutable presentations of fact compel bad guys to confess, every time. Confronted with evidence of his dishonesty, Bugs Meany doesn't hit Encyclopedia over the head and run off. He owns up to his wrongdoing and returns stolen items to their owners. Con artists, kidnappers, and robbers admit their crimes on the spot. Truth is a powerful thing in the world of Encyclopedia Brown, more powerful perhaps than Sally Kimball's punches. (Sorry, Sally.)

comments: 4

Slywy said...

I don't know about the content, but I love the old style of pencil art, such as that found in the Blaze series. I doubt it exists anymore (not glitzy enough), but would love to be proved wrong.

Tim Walker said...

Ah, I loved E. Brown as a kid -- read them all -- and now my own kids read the books. Good memories.

macon d said...

i liked those books when i was a kid. they made me feel better about being bullied in the real world. i also like your choice of image, given what encyclopedia is sitting on. i saw what you did there.

Matthew Schmeer said...

I dig the jughead hat on that one fella in the front bottom right!

I loved these books as a kid--these and the Happy Hollisters (my mother had the complete run from her childhood) brought me hours of reading joy in the mid-1970s.