Title: Go Go Go Grabote
Author/Illustrator: Nicole Claveloux (A Harlin Quist Book, 1973)
I was looking around my kid's overwhelming book collection, thinking about which ones might be deemed Bizarre. The first to come to mind are the 1950s Austrian books some friends gave us. They weren't bizarre, just old fashioned. Then, I found this book from that my wacky NYC Aunt sent me back in the early 1980s (she was 1980s wacky) and I must have read over and over and never understood it. I still don't.
"Go, Go, Go, Grabote" is the story of a small imp named Grabote who pops off the illustrator's Escher-esque eyeball and takes part in a psychedelic adventure involving a weepy corporate jungle-dwelling lion, a belligerent television and evil Roman architecture. She has her nonsensical adventure which takes an odd turn when she argues with an angel and takes off all of her clothes. She then gets a call from a prissy librarian who tells her she can't go taking off all her clothes because this is a children's book. She sulks off and then becomes the corporate lion's secretary. Still naked. The book ends abruptly with her knitting the border of the image surrounding her.
I pretty sure this lady was tripping, and figure this could only get published in the early 1970s. I'm not really sure I'll ever read this to my kids -- I might just pop it in their bookcase for them to discover someday when they are five.
[ed. note; trippy, but the cover looks pretty cool. the publishing record of Harlin Quist's children's books looks amazing; and I remember a few of his books. Listen to this one, also by Claveloux: The Teletrips of Alala" A psychedelic children's story about a girl who climbs inside of her television and ventures into a strange and disturbing world. One of the great classics of Harlin Quist's books." from Abebooks: "At one point, Alala gives some sad Black people magic candy and it turns them different colors. 'The bad white people - embarassed certainly for their general meanness - turned red and purple.'" Sounds very Oompa Loompa, I am intrigued.
Or Story Number 1 For Children Under Three Years of Age by--hello--Eugene Ionesco?? There's also 2 and 3. And am I surprised my parents never bought us You Think Just Because You're Big You're Right from 1972?]