Lazy Friday: Unfortunate Cover and Endpaper

25 Sep

If you promise to keep reading me, I promise to be better about updating. In fact, I’ve got a whole mess of black and white photography 1970s touchy feely books to share, some real annoying girls from the 1950s and advice for dressing up as stereotypes.

But today is Lazy Friday when I present an Unfortunate Element. Today we have both a sad, creepy cover with bafflingly inappropriate endpapers to boot. “Twenty and Ten” proposes to tell the uplifting if tension-ridden tale of 10 Jewish children saved by nuns and other French children in the mountains during the Holocaust. Now, generally my rule of thumb is “don’t mess with the Holocaust.” But this cover was just so awful and the endpapers just so…confusing…they must be shared. Voila! (French for “Look at this crazy-ass stuff.”)

Are they laughing, crying, looking in horror? Who can tell with this quality?

Are they laughing, crying, looking in horror? Who can tell with this crappy art quality?

The Jews and French alike should first off be pissed that they are portrayed as rat-faced, crazy-eyed and with no discernible teeth. Why just the white lines pretending to be teeth? Was the cover artist on deadline and when push came to shove decided better to put time into details on those clod-hopper, Frankenstein boots the kids are wearing instead of giving them real teeth? And instead of looking rosy-cheeked, the kids all look like Tammy Faye applies blush to their faces every morning (R.I.P. I do love her). I feel neither uplifted nor tempted to read this book.
But what’s worse, are the endpapers the publisher decided were appropriate for a tale of  survival, of French citizens putting their lives in eminent and real danger to save Jewish children, of a time when death could come at any time for anyone. Yep, they chose this to represent French people saving Jewish lives at their own peril:
This is so moving.

This is so moving.

Look it’s FRENCH bread making a triangle around two FRENCH flags. I guess to represent the unbreakable spirit of people who love pastry? To represent don’t tred on my bread? To represent that bread in a triangle shows unity and strength in the face of one of the scariest and brutal regimes ever? I guess something like that. I expect the mom from “Better Off Dead” to show up and start talking about FRENCH dressing and FRENCH fries and FRENCH toast. It’s baffling. And just so unfortunate, I had to share.



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