2-minute childrens book
February 24, 2005 8:52 AM   Subscribe

my favorite book when i was a kid was a book with a series of 2-minute or so short stories. inside the front cover there were pictures that symbolized the stories and i would point to the one i wanted my dad to read. i remember some of the stories. one story was of a little girl who wanted a yellow raincoat. a second story was about a boy named Pele or something. a third story had to do with Couscous the detective. i have a 1 yr old son and i wanted to get that book for him but i can't find it. anyone have any ideas what this book might be called or how to get it? thanks
posted by dstrouse91 to Education (10 answers total)
Looks like it might be this Richard Scarry storybook.
posted by kelegraph at 9:00 AM on February 24, 2005

Close, but I think it's Busy Busy World. Each story is about an animal-child in a different country. Do you remember a story about a pig who wanted to kiss the Blarney Stone? Or the snake that had to wrap itself around the plane going to Rio for Carnivale? (My totally favorite book when I was a kid too.)
posted by SashaPT at 9:25 AM on February 24, 2005

Darn, I didn't read the Amazon listing closely till I had already posted. Looks like that one is out of print.
posted by SashaPT at 9:27 AM on February 24, 2005

Also it should be in Richard Scarry's Best Storybook Ever which has a number of different stories all based on different countries, Couscous of course is from Morocco. (This is currently on my 3 year old's favorite reading list-).

I'll double-check the title when I get home as Richard Scarry's work has been packaged and repackaged several times, and varies from printing to printing.
posted by jeremias at 9:47 AM on February 24, 2005

If it's out of print, call your local library, they sometimes hold out of print books and if not could probably locate it through inter-library loan.
posted by agregoli at 10:32 AM on February 24, 2005

Well, couscous the moroccan detective is definitely Richard Scarry, and is found in his Best Storybook Ever that jeremias posted above. But pele and the girl with the yellow raincoat aren't familiar at all.

The Best Storybook Ever only has short stories and poems with illustrated animals. There aren't stories or illustrations with any people at all! Only bunnies, warthogs, and kittens. And believe you me that I am very familiar with the Best Storybook Ever.

This was my most favorite book when I was little, and I remember staring at the pictures for hours and making-up my own stories because i couldn't read yet. Even if this isn't the book you are looking for, buy it for your son, as it's filled with such great stuff. I bought it at B&N like a year ago for about $16.00. It's still widely available.
posted by naxosaxur at 10:45 AM on February 24, 2005

Tons of Richard Scarry on Alibris, which has cover shots of tons of his books -- maybe that'll help jog your memory more? Alibris has always come through for me when I'm looking for half-remembered books from olden days.
posted by kittyb at 11:47 AM on February 24, 2005


That's a great site, kittyb. I was scrolling through and rediscovered his book I am a Bunny, which was a favorite of mine. Wave of nostalgia.
posted by mai at 11:51 AM on February 24, 2005

Busy, Busy World is out of print, and I'm guessing it's not coming back, due to the somewhat dated nationality-based stereotypes. (maybe stereotype is too harsh a term for it?) But it was my favorite as a kid, and I managed to pick up a copy at a yard sale for my kids, last summer through dumb luck. (You can find it on ebay and through alibiris for about 25 bucks.) The front and back insides of the book have a world map with each story/character in a little circle, with a line pointing to what country they are from. I wonder if dstrouse91 is combining multiple storybooks in memory? I don't recall anything about a yellow raincoat in Busy, Busy World.
posted by chr1sb0y at 12:27 PM on February 24, 2005

Ok, I have the definitive answer (I think).

First things first, Couscous is not from Morocco but is an Algerian detective. The second half of the book does have people in it, which is unusual for Richard Scarry books.

The book I have is Richard Scarry's Going Places, and was printed in 1971 by Golden Press. Library of Congress Catalogue number 75-151-440.

I'm having a hard time finding a picture of the cover online. It looks like it's fairly rare at this point, although the Alibris link above sells it for $7.95 which is way better than most prices I've seen online.
posted by jeremias at 2:46 PM on February 24, 2005

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