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Dandelion (Picture Puffins) Paperback – June 30, 1977
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About the Author
Don Freeman was born in San Diego, California, in 1908. At an early age, he received a trumpet as a gift from his father. He practiced obsessively and eventually joined a California dance band. After graduating from high school, he ventured to New York City to study art under the tutelage of Joan Sloan and Harry Wickey at the Art Students' League. He managed to support himself throughout his schooling by playing his trumpet evenings, in nightclubs and at weddings.
Gradually, he eased into making a living sketching impressions of Broadway shows for The New York Times and The Herald Tribune. This shift was helped along, in no small part, by a rather heartbreaking incident: he lost his trumpet. One evening, he was so engrossed in sketching people on the subway, he simply forgot it was sitting on the seat beside him. This new career turned out to be a near-perfect fit for Don, though, as he had always loved the theater.
He was introduced to the world of children’s literature when William Saroyan asked him to illustrate several books. Soon after, he began to write and illustrate his own books, a career he settled into comfortably and happily. Through his writing, he was able to create his own theater: "I love the flow of turning the pages, the suspense of what's next. Ideas just come at me and after me. It's all so natural. I work all the time, long into the night, and it's such a pleasure. I don't know when the time ends. I've never been happier in my life!"
Don died in 1978, after a long and successful career. He created many beloved characters in his lifetime, perhaps the most beloved among them a stuffed, overall-wearing bear named Corduroy.
Don Freeman was the author and illustrator of many popular books for children, including Corduroy, A Pocket for Corduroy, and the Caldecott Honor Book Fly High, Fly Low.
Top customer reviews
Here is what adult me got: Dandelion gets an invitation to a party and goes to get his regularly scheduled Mane-cut before hand. He sees a picture in the beauty magazine and decides to curl his mane in the latest style. There is no peer pressure, and he is not trying to change himself to please anyone else. He sees something that he likes and his barber encourages him to give it a try. He likes his new mane so much that he decides a new jacket and hat would be nice to complement it. Dandelion has that "new hair cut & awesome new clothes" glow - but not for long! His hostess, the glamorous Jennifer Giraffe, not only doesn't recognize him, she is verbally rude, slams the door in his face and refuses to answer again when Dandelion re-knocks to explain. (I mean come on Jennifer, a polite guy shows up at your door, right on time for your party, all dressed up, and bearing flowers and you can't even spare a minute to find out if he was mis-directed?) Not to worry, Dandelion gets caught in a storm which removes the curls from his mane and soaks his new jacket. So he changes into his old clothes and re-tries going to the party where he is recognized immediately, scolded for being late, and regaled the story of the "ridiculous looking lion" who tried to come to the party earlier. Jennifer is rightfully embarrassed when she finds out her mistake. Dandelion learns his lesson and never tries a new style again!
The message that I got out of it was "Don't experiment with new styles because your friends will reject you without further investigation." The sad thing is that there are so many ways that the end of the book could have been salvaged. For instance, Jennifer could have more clearly learned that sometimes friends will try out trends, and that we may think look silly, but underneath they are still the same person.
I would suggest this book for children between 2 and 6 years of age.