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The Little Fat Policeman, Little Golden Book, Margaret Wise Brown, Jane Stadermann review


Writers: Margaret Wise Brown and Edith Thatcher Hurd

Illustrators: Alice and Martin Provensen


Golly gee, four collaborators for this Little Golden Book. Margaret Wise Brown was a prolific and highly successful writer, with over one hundred titles to her name. Reading about her life, looks like she lived it to the fullest, both professionally and relationship-wise to die at the young age of 42 from an embolism. Edith Thatcher Hurd was also prolific and successful, with over seventy titles to her name, often collaborating with her illustrator husband, Clement. Alice and Martin Provensen are the first couple I have come across in good old Wikipedia who share a Wiki page for their fame. And, accordingly, Alice says they often worked as one person.




The book. This version is a Little Golden Book with record, so a nice little disk of vinyl is slipped into the back cover. I prefer to keep it that way: the reader sounds like Disney's piglet's slightly older brother. However, the policeman song by Larry Groce which is also included on the record, is easy-listening.


The story is cute. It has nothing to do with what policemen do today. That is, rarely do you find a human cop traffic light unless the electricity grid is down. The bit at the end, where he saves a man from drowning may be a bit closer to home to what a cop would do if put in that situation. Not sure about pulling the drowning man to safety by his hair though...but hey, this book was written way before first aid or bronze swimming medallions were an actual 'thing' and the policeman's training of the day obviously had their own formula. The book was written at a time when it was okay to have circus animals procured from the African savanna and people all wore a world where 'decent' meant a different thing. The story is simple yet entertaining and the characters all likable.


The illustrations are excellent. Stylized and groovy. 


Where to buy: Online, it's old. Or else you may score big in the local op-shop, where I got mine for a buck.

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