Sunday, December 31, 2023

"I'm Going to Build a Supermarket One of These Days"

I love this little children's book!

  • Title: I'm Going to Build a Supermarket One of These Days
  • Authors: Helen Baten and Barbara von Molnar, adapted by Bill Martin Jr. (1916-2004).
  • Illustrator: William Papas (1927-2000). Credited in the book solely as "Papas." He was previously mentioned in this 2016 post about Damian and the Dragon.
  • Publisher: Holt, Rinehart and Winston
  • Year: 1970
  • Pages: 32
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Plot: The short book is basically a Dr. Seuss-like fantasy about what a grocery store would be like if it were run by children. Papas' pictures are a delight. The store would be called "Land of Milk & Honey." Everything would be free, and only children would be permitted inside. (There's an illustration in which adults are protesting outside, one with a sign stating "We Want Equal Rights.") The fantasy supermarket is filled with roller-skaters, elephants, kangaroos and a merry-go-round. There are impromptu baseball games and all sorts of treats, like cotton candy, ice cream and coconut cakes. Kids who don't want to shop can watch movies underneath the checkout counters. (Why checkout counters are needed when everything is free is not explained.) 
  • Reviews: There's almost nothing online about this book from a half-century ago, so I'm glad this post is serving in a small way to preserve it. There is one nice review on Goodreads, in which Sharla states, "This is one of my all-time favorite books from when I was young." She further notes that there were two audio cassette versions, one that was a straight readthrough and one that's a musical sing-a-long version! 
Here are some more of Papas' wonderful illustrations...

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