Thursday, February 12, 2009

Reading Room

I was going to write a long, very explanatory post about Barbie Solves a Mystery, the 1963 YA novel I found at... I don't even know, some fucking thrift store. But as I was resizing the scans, I realized that this would be completely unnecessary. Each illustration in the book occurs at the beginning of a chapter, and the images coupled with the few lines of text function as nice little metaphysical units of nostalgia. You're all smart cookies; I bet you can figure out what going on.

Here is the glorious, glorious inside cover:

Look at Barbie's fabulous life! Boys! Sports! Adventure! Dresses! I would love to see the other novels in this series: Barbie's New York Summer, Barbie's Fashion Success, and, of course, Here's Barbie.

Cover page:

You go girl. You solve that mystery in that slim, elegant trench coat. Work!

Here is the crushingest irony of my posting these scans: in this novel, Barbie gets a job as the fashion reporter at her local newspaper and, in this particular chapter, she waxes poetic about the deliciously tactile qualities of a newspaper office - a physical space which may not live to see our children thanks to a little thing called the internet. And blogging. Oops.

Anyway. Chapter two killed me as well:

Later on in the chapter, there is a very Sex and the City-esque moment where Barbie is running down the "tree-shaded streets" of her bucolic town, "[zigzagging] her way through strollers" and the like, and arrives to her first day of work just on time. Ok, she's not wearing four-inch heels, but what is it with the semi-professional, adorably-frazzled blondie prancing her way to work that is so beguiling to pop culture? Probably has something to do with Baywatch. Ugh.

Whew, long post. There are about 12 chapters in this book, kids, so look out for more Barbie fun next week. Don't you want to know who she meets at her new job? Just you wait!


Cath said...

Love the drawrings!

woodley park-zoo said...

WHO could it be that she meets?
I do so love vintage illustrations!