Mayer, Mercer. Just Me and My Dad. New York, Golden Books, 1977
Mayer, Mercer. Just Me and My Mom. New York, Golden Books, 1990
Mayer, Mercer. Just Shopping with Mom. New York, Golden Books, 1977
I think that Mercer Mayer must be one of the most prolific children’s book author! You can find his Little Critter books in the grocery store, WalMart, Target, Barnes and Noble… and nearly any other location that sells books. How could I omit a book or two that made me chuckle when I read them to my girls? I couldn’t so Elijah’s Little Library contain Just Me and My Dad and Just Me and My Mom. I didn’t add these two books in Alexis’ section, because she didn’t remember that they were a favorite of hers until a day or two after I purchased them. As I was writing up the book for Elijah’s library, she told me about her favorite Little Critter book. I hope that Elijah’s parents take the opportunity to enjoy these books with him on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and any other day. Alexis, Sarah and I loved snuggling up and reading about Little Critter and all his adventures. They are fun and funny!
It surprises me, but I don’t have a copy of the Just Me and My Dad or Just Me and My Mom. I can’t imagine why I do not. I do have a copy of Just Shopping with Mom. I reread it this week in preparation for this blog. It made me snicker, chuckle and sigh. I remember my shopping experiences with two small children. Have you every been shopping with small children? It is an event not to be taken lightly. If you haven’t had this experience, read this book. You can sigh, shake your head and have some sympathy for Little Critter’s Mom.
Mercer Mayer was born in Arkansas in 1947. He had a penchant for collecting snakes, frogs and other critters and reading. He moved often as his Dad was in the Navy. He finished high school in Honolulu, Hawaii. He went to art school there. As with many illustrators, he drew lots of pictures. At one point a potential employer suggested that he get rid of his portfolio and look for another profession¹. I am so glad he did not follow that suggestion.
He writes about things that happened to him, to his children and to his grandchildren². His work was often compared to Maurice Sendak’s and not always favorably. He chose not to care as he thought the publicity was good for his book sales³. As I said earlier, his books can be found almost any place you can buy a book!
While I love his Little Critter and Little Monster books, he has been called to illustrate for other authors. Take a look at this illustration for a retelling of the tale Beauty and the Beast: http://www.mercermayer.com/bb0045_01c.html. It is luminous. I had forgotten about this facet of his talent until I was prepping for this blog. I will have to keep an eye out for a copy of one of these books.
More places to read about Mercer Mayer.