The Cranky Old Reader

I'm a Goodreads refugee, looking for a new home. Old books for children, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, and humor are my main areas of interest. I've little interest in books that were written after 1975 or so, and prefer books that are older still. There are, however, a few still-living authors that I respect.

The Adventures of Phunsi

The Adventures of Phunsi - Alison Mason Kingsbury Phunsi is a young zebra who lives with his mother on the African veldt. His gift is speed - he can run so fast that he can't be seen. But when he accidentally runs into a cage and is trapped, he and his mother end up being shipped to a zoo in New York City.It isn't long before Phunsi escapes, and he soon ends up lost in New York - not just in the city, but the relatively pastoral parts of New York state. His adventures are many, ranging from a carousel, to a pet shop, to a farm, to the rooftops of New York City. On the way he meets many other animals, almost all of them with a story, song, or poem to tell. How Phunsi becomes a hero and finds his way home makes for a wonderful story.This book is perfect to be read to any child aged four or older, depending on their vocabulary. Since it was written in the 1940s, it does assume a more extensive vocabulary than some young children may have. A child who enjoys reading the Doctor Dolittle books would probably love The Adventures of Phunsi; it's roughly the same level of vocabulary and density of text.It's charmingly illustrated in black & white by the author.Unfortunately this book is incredibly rare. Copies can be found online for a reasonable price, but so far I have yet to meet or hear from anyone else who has ever read it. Except for my son, that is; I read it to him as soon as he was old enough, and we'll be reading it again soon. This book is simply a treasure.

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