February 5, 2007

Jazzy Kids Book By Jim Flora: The Day The Cow Sneezed

james_flora_cow_sneezed.jpg

Jim Flora was a prolific artist and illustrator whose trippy post-war modernist album covers for RCA/Victor and Columbia jazz recordings have gained renewed appreciation in the eBay era. His style bridges early American modernists like Stuart Davis and Marie-Therese-era Picasso, with a quick stop in a Tiki lounge somewhere for a drink.

Not surprisingly, Flora also became a prolific children's book author, starting in 1955 with The Fabulous Fireworks Family. From the few images I've seen, most of his later books seem to show a mellowed, more straightforward illustrative style. But from the sound of artist/fan Ward Jenkins' enthusiastic description, Flora's second book, The Day The Cow Sneezed, is a rockin' masterpiece.

jim_flora_cow_sneezed_spread.jpg

It's one of these butterfly-flaps-its-wings-type stories of unintended consequences, and Jenkins' scans look awesome. The story sounds like a fun read, too; a bit like Richard McGuire's karmic chain reaction tale, What Goes Around Comes Around, which I thought the kid wouldn't get, but which she turns out to love. Who knew? And check out that spread above, it's like a Katamari Damacy prophecy in print.

Now that I got my copy off of Abebooks, I can post about it here [no hard feelings, k?] Check out more scans on Ward-o-Matic, and check out the wealth of gorgeous Flora-iana pulled together by his family and biographer/DJ Irwin Chusid. the vastly superior originals are more, but the 1994 reissues of The Fabulous Fireworks Family sell for a freakin' penny on Amazon.

update/review: The FFF is indeed beautiful, but it's also pretty wordy. Maybe it's all the jump cuts on the MTV, but I couldn't really sustain my own interest in reading it, and skimming through the story didn't help grab the kid's attention, either. She did like learning a few new Spanish words, though. All in all, a mixed reception.

Leave a comment


Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Google DT


Contact DT

Daddy Types is published by Greg Allen with the help of readers like you.
Got tips, advice, questions, and suggestions? Send them to:
greg [at] daddytypes [dot] com

Join the [eventual] Daddy Types mailing list!


Archives

copyright

c2004-11 daddy types, llc.
no unauthorized commercial reuse.
privacy and terms of use
published using movable type

advertisements