Monday, November 2, 2009
Mirror Book for Girls
I've had an interest in unusual concepts in children's books for a long time. Pop-ups, mechanical, movable images, mix-and-match pages - I like them all. So I decided to share a few here over time. Today I'll start with the Mirror Book for Girls, by Jerome Meyer and illustrated by Elliott Zerner, published in 1949. There's a little reflective disc embedded into the back side of the front cover, and the idea is that the young reader will see herself reflected as various characters. Now, some of them are perfectly weird, like seeing herself as Alice in Wonderland or an Eskimo. Others are something like social gender role engineering - teacher, nurse (with baby), "airplane hostess," movie star. And it all ends up with the ultimate role for the good girl. Unfortunately the little disc is not so bright anymore, and you'll have to project a girl's face in there.