Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Dear Little Mumps Child, by Marguerite Rush Lerner, M.D. (1959)
I'm sharing this one today to continue with winter-themed books but also because I enjoy both the irrelevancy of the topic with the atypically-modern portrayal of a female doctor. George Overlie's fantastic mid-century illustrations accompany the text by Dr. Marguerite Lerner, the sister-in-law of the founder of Lerner Books, which initially published medical books to explain various ailments to kids and publishes kids' books to this day. After the success of Dear Little Mumps Child, Lerner published Michael Gets the Measles, Peter Gets the Chickenpox, and Doctor's Tools. The MMR Vaccine developed in the late 1960s would eventually most of Lerner's titles irrelevant, though she would continue to collaborate with Overlie on several more titles.
The little mumps child's modern country house is pretty great:
I have read this book to my daughter, explaining that she can never get mumps, but to this day she's convinced you can get sick from getting hit by a snowball.
I really like the way the phone wire stretches across the fold to the doctor's office. Of course, I also love that like the author of the book, the doctor who comes to diagnose the mumps is a woman. You've come along way since Women at Work, children's books of the 1950s!
And this doctor does house calls in a sweet 1950s Detroit gem. And check out that chair!
And those beds (with electric pillows and hot water bottles!):
This blog seeks to share excerpted content from out-of-print children's books. If you are the copyright holder of any of these books and are unhappy with this usage, please contact me immediately and I will rectify it.