Cute. Let me say that again: CUTE! Laughing Elephant books are vintage perfection and I love them. If you are looking for something classic and yet a little bit out of the ordinary, then you’ll want to stop the search here. Laughing Elephant has created not only vintage style note cards, journals and other gift items, but they have also republished some classic children’s stories and have quite the line up of books.
One such set that Laughing Elephant (I love saying their name – can you tell?) had reprinted is The Bear Family which was originally printed in the 1930’s. This set of three shape books comes in one single package. First we meet Baby Bear, who came to live with Father and Mother Bear when he was just one minute old. Next we move onto Mother Bear who had always wanted a little bear with brown eyes and little pink heels. Mother Bear is the perfect mother and the “busiest [one] in the whole world.” Lastly we meet Father Bear who is the busiest and happiest bear in all the world because he has Mother Bear and Baby Bear. The book is illustrated in full-color and alternate black and white pages which the children are encouraged to color in if they so desire (i.e., if their parents so desire). This is a charming little set of books and I intend to gift new parents with them as they are out of the ordinary and special!
Laughing Elephant has also published (Goldilocks and) The Three Bears, along with a host of other old tales such as The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel, just to name a few. Each book is illustrated in the same fashion which can be dated to the 1920’s and 1930’s.
In keeping with their vintage creations, you might also find their title, When Life Seemed Simpler quite the delight. This book takes you on a trip back to a period of year years, collecting pictures and words between 1930 and 1965 to share what life appeared to be like then. This book attempts to show the attitude of that time period by showing drawings from school books and advertisements depicting family, school, community and home life. It covers topics such as what children liked to play and how attitudes towards teachers and other leaders in the community were displayed. Although in some ways I think the book poked a bit of fun at the way Things Used to Be, I also thought the book was both fun and sentimental. It reminded me of Dick and Jane in a lot of ways and makes you long for the simpler life and times you see depicted within these pages. It’s an extremely quick read and I think focuses more on the visual aspect of America’s past history. It has a very nostalgic feel to it.
Laughing Elephant books might be a bit harder for you to locate as they do not sell to large chain stores. You are more apt to find them in specialty shops (like antique/gift shops) but you can order from them directly by going to their website. Have fun browsing through their titles and seeing what you can discover!
Carrie comes by her book obsession honestly, having descended from a long line of bibliophiles. She blogs about books regularly at Reading to Know.