Corgiville Fair by Tasha Tudor is an older book. It was published in the early ’70s, but Tasha Tudor’s illustrations are still fresh and fun. This was a reader request (Thank you, Aaron!). If you have book you’d like me to review, please send me a suggestion! I will do what I can to get it and share that review with you!
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I have loved Tasha Tudor’s artwork since I was a small child. Her paintings are fun and interesting, and she captures scenes inspired by the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Honestly, the boys were never been really into the actual story, but Brontë has enjoyed looking through the pictures over and over again. The illustrations are really lovely – similar to Beatrix Potter.
Corgiville is a small town, “west of New Hampshire and east of Vermont,” full of corgis, cats, rabbits, and boggarts. “Boggarts are trolls… Their hair is moss, their ears are leather, and their arms come off for convenience… They have long tails and smoke cigars and are apt to be wild.”
Corgiville Fair is “the most exciting event of the year” (after Christmas, of course). The entire town excitedly prepares for the fair for months in advance. Caleb Brown (a corgi) decides to enter his racing goat, Josephine, into the Grand Race at the Corgiville Fair. He has competition from Edgar the Tomcat who (according to village gossip) may have bet money on the race. Caleb has a friend, Mert Boggart, who “had a way with goats, just as gypsies do with horses.” Mert helps Caleb prepare Josephine for the Grand Race.
At the Fair, just as Caleb is feeling famished, standing by his racing goat, waiting for the race, Edgar Tomcat shows up and offers hotdogs that “had contained soporific powder” and Caleb fell into a deep sleep not long before the race. With Caleb sleeping, Edgar then feeds Josephine “thirteen heavy mince pies and twenty-two strong five-cent cigars” before she was overstuffed and collapsed a half hour before the race. Caleb woke up 10 minutes before time to start the race and realized what had happened. Quickly, he and Mert feed Josephine some fireworks, and she takes off running at top speed and wins the race! “Josephine never ran another race. She couldn’t. (She suffered from chronic indigestion from that time on.)”
This book is a fun glimpse of a country fair. Some parents might want to know that there are cigars mentioned throughout, there is a “peep show” mentioned (without explanation or description) as one of the attractions at the fair, and there is mention of Edgar possibly gambling by betting on horses.
Here’s what Brontë has to say about this book: “There is some fun-ness in it.”
Interested in buying this book? You might be able to find it at your library (we did) and I bet your local bookstore could order it for you.
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