1995 first edition of Budgee Budgee Cottontail by Jo Mora, artist, sculptor, illustrator, and cowboy.
Written and illustrated by Jo Mora. 1995 stated first edition, first printing. Dober Hill Ltd., an imprint of Stoecklein Publishing, Ketchum, Idaho.
"Once, in a cottage ivyclad,
With brothers, sisters, Mom and Dad,
Right at the end of the forest trail,
Lived Budgee Budgeee Cottontail.
He longed to travel from what he'd heard
Of the wide wide world from the old Jaybird.
But Mom said, "Goodness gracious, no!
The Wolf gets Bunnies that wander so."
To change his mind he tried a lot,
Though the harder he tried the worse it got.
'Til early one morn, at the break of day,
He tiptoed out and hurried away."
Budgee found adventure alright! On his first day, he's assaulted by a cranky old squirrel, annoyed at the rabbit for interrupting his nut-cracking, who calls on neighboring squirrels to help chase him off.
Mora's bold, colorful artwork brings to life a large cast of animal characters - rendered in detail and dressed in cowboy hats, chaps and boots, beaded Indian buckskin and moccasins, shirts and pants, dresses and shoes - that scare the bejeebers out of Budgee or help him on his way.
Uncle Abner Mole
Bad Jack Rabbit
Wild Pete Coyote
Happy Pancho Burro
Buck the Dear
Eye-Kee the Beaver
Tip Tip Tippy Toes the Snowshoe Rabbit
Scores of Gnomes
How Budgee gets from his family's rabbit warren to Santa and back home is quite an adventure. A glossary at the back of the book helps young readers with the names of animals and terms such as buckaroo, a coach and eight, and hullabaloo.
Jo Mora (1876 – 1947), born in Montevideo, Uruguay and raised in New York, was called the "Renaissance Man of the West" for his expansive work as a cartoonist, sculptor, illustrator, photographer, muralist, and cowboy. He was a cartoonist with the Boston Herald. In the early 1900s, he moved out West and documented his experiences living with the Hopi and Navajo Indians and explored the Spanish missions of California. In the 1920s, he settled with his family in the artists' community of Carmel, California. Among his many sculptures are the Cervantes Monument in Golden Gate Park and the bronze and travertine sarcophagus and altar for Father Junípero Serra in the Mission Carmel church. He also created the "Discovery of the San Francisco Bay by Portola" diorama for the California Pavilion at the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition.
Mora wrote and illustrated Budgee Budgee Cottontail in 1936 during a world cruise with his family. He wrote, "[Budgee] has a fine pedigree. He was conceived on the North Pacific, named on the Bay of Bengal, and his life and adventures recorded through the Straits of Malacca, the Java, Celebes, and the South China Seas." But Mora declined to publish his story and set aside children's books, which had included Anderson's Fairy Tales, The Animals of Aesop, and Reynard the Fox, to pursue his many other interests. His family finally published Budgee in 1995.
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Condition*: Near Fine/Very Good. Dust jacket: Small amount of soiling front and back; slightly ruffled top edge; moisture stain on back, lower right corner; top corners slightly bumped; small closed tear on the back, lower left corner. Gold-embossed blue cloth cover. Pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.
* Based on guidelines of the Independent Online Booksellers' Association.
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