Arthur's Really Helpful Bedtime Stories
Brown, Marc Tolon
. Random House . NY ,
PZ8.B77 Ar 1998 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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The difference of this book from another copy, also a first printing, is small but worth noting. The surprise is that both are numbered as first printings on the page facing the title-page. The differences occur on the back cover. First, this copy includes no price, while the other copy had both USA and Canadian prices printed as part of the back cover. Secondly, the symbol for Random House has changed from a house to an elephant, with mention of Gibraltar Library Binding. Thirdly, the ISBN has changed from 0-679-88468-8 to 0-679-98468-2. Fourthly, the number on the second bar code has changed from 51499 to 90000. Might that first number have something to do with the stated price of $14.99? My, the mysteries of publishing! On neither of the copies does the last digit of the bar code match the last digit printed next to it. As I wrote there, among the book's ten stories are TH (26) and LM (40). In the former, Buster is always in a hurry; he does not stop to smell the flowers. If Buster wins, he will train the tortoise into a world-class runner. If the tortoise wins, the two will have a long, slow breakfast every day, and the tortoise will teach Buster all about the flowers. After the race, the two of them become good friends, and Buster stops to smell the flowers. Even though some of them make him sneeze, he is too polite to mention it. In the latter, Binky the lion, as the mouse points out, does not look much like a lion. The moral here is cleverly inserted into the story in the mouth of the mouse when he answers the lion's snarl: After all, one good turn deserves another. Marc Brown's faces are often delightful. Do not miss his spirited illustrations for The Frog Prince. The girl who meets the three bears is named D.W.