This author is mainly famous for her 1942 autobiography “We Took to the Woods” (living in a cabin with the family in the 1930s) but there are also other books of interest.
Unfortunately neither this first book, nor other books have a preview, but in “She Took the Woods” it says that she ordered overalls by mail order, but her husband and their friend wore denim pants with belts. And one day, their son Rufus didn’t want to wear overalls anymore. (Not sure at what age exactly, I think at about 8 or 10 yo).
In “Star Island Boy” (1968) aka Star Island , the 11 yo foster boy is depicted in yellow fishing bibs on the cover. Maybe also described in the book, but I’m not sure about that.
Her last book “Summer at High Kingdom” (1975) seems more of interest. I mentioned it before and now have ordered it. A teen boy is depicted in blue bibs on the cover. It’s about a hippie commune and a neighboring farm boy. Probably set in the 1970s but I can’t say much more, yet of this quite rare OOP book. More later.
There are other books from her, mainly set in Maine. But only four more non-fiction novels, the rest mainly about girls (probably not in bibs). Other non-fiction books are about nature and history, partly picture books.
I also found another interesting author about boys and girls in bibs including illustrations (coming soon).
Update: “Summer at High Kingdom” completetly read. Unfortunately 2 brief mentionings only. The 21 yo farm brother in “dungarees” helped milking (page 28) and another scene on page 62 of boys and girls picking beans in the holidays in blue, red and green dungarees. Time setting not stated. As some are hippies, so around late 60s or 70s.
Because of the upcoming movie next month (Burg Schreckenstein, 2016) I have also checked the book series. Probably no bibs scenes in the movies (at least girls in blue aprons) and I only found one blonde older boy in bibs on this book cover (2nd edition, illustrations by Nikolaus Moras, end of the 1970s).
I even own some fews of the books but not this one. I don’t remember any description of bibs scenes nor illustrations. But I only have checked them briefly and don’t have the time to read them. One of the most famous German book series for boys in the 80s about a castle boarding school (boys and girls in separate locations). For girls there was Hanni & Nanni.
The kids appear much older on these illustrations and much younger in the movie. It was time for a movie but I don’t like what I’ve seen so far, like school uniforms. They better should have made a TV series, but probably they want to make more money. So just another mainstream movie. I will wait for a TV broadcasting.
I’m currently very busy and also in the evening I don’t have much time for reading. I’m still reading this book (German paperback, 186 pages, currently page 140) between 2 Enid Blyton books.
First published in 1954 and the time setting is I think in the presence, so 1950s. Typical detective gang kids story. No illustrations in my edition but I’ve seen some on the web (older kids, no bibs).
Only 2 brief bibs scenes yet, but better than none.
In the middle of the book some gang members describing a pile of “working pants” in a farm shop. Obviously overalls. Reminds me of Ike Godsey’s store.
On page 140 after cycling in the rain and taking shelter at an unknown farmer, one gang member called Neil wore an oversized, faded pair of overalls (probably shirtless) while their own clothes are about to dry. The other boy wore a bathrobe.
By coincidence I found this one. Title: The Summer of Our Lives. There are photos showing a boy and girl in bibs on her website living in rural part of California. Characters should be teens aged between 12 and 15 but kids on the photos looking younger. Maybe similar like the Sugar Creek Gang. Not published yet.
She published other farm and Christian book like “Growing Up Wilder” and also reviewed the Sugar Creek Gang book series.
I found some more vintage books showing kids in bibs (at least on the cover on some editions)
-Harry Baerg: Prairie Boy (1 boy) illustrated by the author
-Jim McGugan: Josepha: A Prairie Boy’s Story (1 boy 1900) illustrated by Murray Kimber (32 pages, picture book ?)
-Tim Wynne-Jones: Some of the Kinder Planets (1 girl)
-Ursula Bruns: Dick und Dalli und die Ponies (2 girls) horses
-Eleanor Estes: Ein Hund namens Pumpel Pye (1 girl) 1960 edition illustrated by Helma Baison
-Anton Schulte: Heinz und Elke Gutermut (1 boy) Christian themed, Publisher TELOS
I recently bought this 1945 Christian children’s book in German translation. One other German cover showing a boy in bibs riding a bull (similar to the US cover). My 70s paperback edition have several b&w illustrations by Walter Rieck showing a boy with dark curls in bibs. Unfortunately no mentionings of bibs. 94 pages. Already completely read but I forgot almost everything.
The setting is in Smith’s childhood, so around 1900 and is about a tall farm boy from Ontario who went to school barefooted with a crow (I have seen pics with that on other book covers). He’s 10 yo at the beginning, 15 in the middle and 16 at the end and has a brother two years younger. One of his older sisters died when he was 15.
I think a typical adventure book for it’s time with robbers, some drama and religious contents. Not bad but I hoped for more.
At least there’s a list of other Christian books in it from this German publisher. Maybe more luck there.
I searched for some new books. First I thought of “The New Sugar Creek Gang” but that’s probbaly too modern and I don’t assume bibs scenes there. Then I thought of more books of the Sugar Creek Gang. I own some. But most others don’t have bibs scenes. Best remaining ones are mabye “The Blue Cow” and The Green Tent (including a woman).
I checked the original Publisher (Moody Youth Library) and found some other interesting books and authors. I bought one Christian children’s book including illustrations of a boy in bibs (1900s farm setting, barefoot) but I have to read more and it’s too ealy for a post (coming soon).
Some other I found (mainly girls):
Elizabeth Enright: Thimble Summer (9 yo girl) some few mentionings + cover
Rolf Ulrici: Diane aus dem Försterhaus (1960s or earlier. Girl on cover. Unknown if mentionings)
Hildegard Krug: So was kann jedem passieren! (1970s or earlier, boy in bibs on cover. Unknown if mentionings)
I also have to check Enid Blytons’s Famous Five and related books (bibs in the series, boys, girls).
The problem on old books, that you often can’t look inside on Amazon or Google. So it’s always a risk. Often depictured on the cover and no parts or illustrations inside.
Although I’m quite busy and I’m currently reading 3 other (non-overalls) books, and although I was a bit disappointed by some other Soup books, I recently bought “Soup in the Saddle”.
I only have read the first chapter yet and I don’t expect description of overalls. Already one of the boys described wearing pants with a belt. At least barefooted and good 1920s or 1930s Vermont farm setting + plot.
But there are very good illustrations! Almost every pic showing one or both friends in bibs.
Best pic is a boy shirtless in overalls with the straps and bib down washing himself (rear view). Also other good farm scenes, both boys sitting on a wooden fence, a school scene and the like. One boy who walked barefooted in manure standing on the shoulders of the other to climb into a barn window.
There are different illustrators in different editions. Not sure if this part is also available from a different publisher and illustrator. Mine is a 1988 Yearling paperback but with the same illustrator (Charles Robinson, cover+inside) from the 1983 first edition by A. Knopf. There is also at least one movie (Soup and Me, ABC Weekend 1977) but probably not showing bibs.
I will update this after finishing. Other books
Many hits for my commercial entries. Thanks.
Update: Completetly read. No mentionings of overalls. Plot is quite weak. No/few saddle stuff in the middle of the book. A bit funny but quite boring.
During research for 80s pics, I found by coincidence the blog auf author Susan K. Marlow. She as her character Andi in bibs and long dark pigtails sitting at a creek. Then I found her western book series “Goldtown Adventures” (main character a 12 yo boy, but not in bibs), then the series “Circle C Adventures”.
Most bibs scenes in the books with the female (should be 12 yo). But on the cover and on her blog some of her relatives in bibs as well (10 yo Evan (as Levy), now at least 16, pics of him at 13 and 16 there, tag my family) and teen boy Ryan as friend Cory. I haven’t checked all contents of the Circle C books. Unfortunatley poor illustrations.