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May 17, 2012

Picture books in which animals are put in jail

This is something I’ve been thinking about for some time. It is by no means a comprehensive list.

Curious George by Margret and HA Rey: Early Curious George was not only an avid cigar smoker, but ends up in jail for making prank calls to the fire department. Being a monkey, he is able to escape from jail with relative ease when a prison guard stands on one end of George’s cot whilst chasing him and lifts the other end up to the window. He floats away in a balloon. Later, he stars in a movie.

Veronica by Roger Duvoisin: Veronica is a hippo who hates to blend into her herd (whose collective noun is actually “bloat”, but this isn’t part of the text). She gets around her camoflage by escaping to the city, but the gets hauled away for holding up traffic. The jail, unfortunately, barely contains her (speaking of bloat), and they have to bust down the doors to get her out of the place after a sympathetic little old lady comes to her aid and wins her freedom.

Chouchou by Francoise: Chouchou is a little French donkey who leads a simple but pleasant life having tourists pose with her for photographs. One day while provoked, however, she bites a young customer and is thrown in jail. She is only freed once the local children attest to her gentleness, demonstrating to officials that she’s indeed a harmless creature. She is freed in time to officiate at her photographer-owner’s wedding.

4 thoughts on “Picture books in which animals are put in jail”

  1. DH. says:

    I just discovered Roger Duvoisin, and I’m in LOVE! I’ve always loved hippos, so I picked up Veronica, and now I’m in love with Duvoisin’s linework! His people remind me of Ben Shahn or Saul Steinberg art. So good – I’m going to borrow heavily from his coloring style for my upcoming book.

  2. Sara says:

    We had a pop-up version of the. Curious George in which his escape via a teeter tottering of his cot was quite effective. The classic animal in jail though has to be the glorious Mr Toad in The Wind in the Willows. Now you’ve got me trying to think of more,

  3. Nathalie says:

    I think Mercy Watson, the porcine wonder, ends up on the wrong side of the law, but is saved, as always, by the offer of hot buttered toast.

  4. Jen says:

    It makes me happy to know there are other adults who think about picture books this much.

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