Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Adventures Of Tinker And Tanker

Yippee!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!  And I have such a good one!

Hop into your time capsules, because we’re going back to my childhood today… and we all know how long ago THAT was! 🙂

This was one of my most favorite books when I was little.  I remember the characters, the pictures, and the stories so clearly! – but the book itself got lost somewhere (or more likely my brother has it and isn’t sharing :))  Anyway, I’d been thinking about it for some time, and when I looked on Amazon, I found a used copy.  It’s not in great condition, but it’s exactly as I remember it 🙂  I hope you’ll be able to find it in your libraries and that you’ll get a chance to read it.  They don’t make ’em like this any more! 🙂

Title: The Adventures Of Tinker And Tanker
Written & Illustrated By: Richard Scarry
Doubleday & Company, 1960, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-8

Themes/Topics: friendship, helping others, adventure, problem solving, books for boys

Opening: “Two close friends – Tinker, a brown rabbit and a very good mechanic, and Tanker, a big strong hippopotamus – were out in their car looking for work and for a place to live.”

Brief Synopsis: Tinker and Tanker are two good friends who help people in need wherever they go.  This book actually contains three stories: Tinker And Tanker, Tinker And Tanker Out West, and Tinker And Tanker And Their Space Ship.

Links To Resources: HERE you can make your own hot air balloon; I couldn’t find Richard Scarry exactly, but HERE are some farm animal finger puppets to make; Tinker and Tanker love to try new things and they always turn into adventures – think up an adventure you could have, play dress up, and act it out.

Why I Like This Book:  The things I loved as a little girl are the same things I still love.  I love the friendship between Tinker and Tanker.  I love their arrival in a friendly town, and how they fix up the empty broken down repair shop behind the train station to be their workshop.  I love the (let’s face it!) wackiness of their adventures – Tanker lifts a train, Tinker disguises himself as a papoose

when Tanker dresses as a squaw to fool the bad guys out west, they build a space ship out of sail cloth and a basket – all exactly the kinds of things I did, tried to do, or imagined myself doing when I was 5 🙂  The art is classic Richard Scarry – cozy and fun.  But reading the stories again, one of my favorite things is how totally they break pretty much every rule we’re given about writing today.  There’s loads of “telling”.  The train derails and crashes off the track.  A house is burning down.  Little mice are floating out to sea and in danger of being eaten by a giant fish.  Out west, someone fires a gun.  The baby Gloria gets kidnapped.  The term “Indian” is used more than once and the “Indian” speech is terribly stereotypical… I could go on 🙂  And yet the stories are FUN.  They aren’t in the least bit frightening.  And it’s kind of great to see how a book that doesn’t follow any of the “rules” can still be a wonderful book! 🙂

Can you imagine this in a PB today?
That’s Tinker, disguised as baby Gloria, holding the gun!

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

The past couple weeks have been a bit crazy with college revisits and life in general, and I have not had time to get around to all the PPBF posts the way I like to.  I apologize for that, and hope that I’ll be able to do better today! 🙂  PPBF bloggers, please leave your post-specific links on the list below and I’ll try! I’ll really try! 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone! 🙂

43 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Adventures Of Tinker And Tanker

  1. Barbara Gruener says:

    Time capsule … that's funny … dates back to when I was born, actually. I've not seen this one but will have to check our library; looks like it'd make for a fun friendship lesson with my peacemakers!

  2. Angela Brown says:

    I'm tickled at the the arrow stuck at the very top of the one bad guy's hat lol!! And it seems this story is very fitting for the time it was written, when many of the “rules” we have may have been a little different, but the foundation of the stories remain timeless.

  3. Tracy Campbell says:

    This book brought back memories…playing cowboys and Indians with my brothers. I was the “squaw” that got tied up and then got shot at with their cap guns. 🙂

  4. Clarbojahn says:

    I love anything Richard Scarry, He is nothing less than brilliant in all his books. I don't remember this one but we read many others to our boys when they were little. Thanks for introducing this one to me. 🙂

  5. Wendy says:

    This Richard Scarry book is new to me, too. It made me think about political correctness, real differences and blandness in writing.

  6. Kirsten Larson says:

    Oh, yes, Richard Scarry was a favorite from childhood as well! In fact a I just found one of his counting books for sale at the library and snatched it up. “What Do People Do All Day” is still the one we like best. The illustrations are so crowded and busy, but encyclopedic in detail.

  7. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    Waaaaaaahhhhhh!!! I can't get your pick through my library! So I thank you all the more for including all the lovely spreads!

  8. Rosi says:

    Great stuff, Susanna. Thanks for posting this. It looks really fun. I've checked two local library systems, but no luck. 8-(

  9. Patricia Tilton says:

    Yes, I tried to find your pick through the library and couldn't get it. This is one book my grandsons would have adored. Glad you included more info and photos so we could see the detail. In fact, my hubby would enjoy this!

  10. Genevieve says:

    *sigh* The good old days…. When friendship and helping and fun were enough and political correctness didn't exist (let alone trump everything). *sigh-*

  11. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Love your PPBF choice, Susanna! It's great to see old classics…and I don't remember this one. And it's eye-opening to see what was considered acceptable for young kids then. 🙂

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You would TOTALLY love this, Erik (even though it's a little young for you at this point :)) It's very much like the old cartoons with Tom and Jerry and Road Runner and Wile E Coyote 🙂 I hope your library has it!

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Tinker and Tanker are such helpers. I'm thinking just now of that quote from Mr. Rogers that was on FB earlier this week… about how when he was little and saw something scary on the news, his mom would tell him to look for the helpers, because in every bad situation there are always helpers. Tinker and Tanker are helpers 🙂

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    So true, Angela – the message of friendship and helping others is always timely. And though today no one could get away with an illustration of anyone holding a gun, this is very much in the style of the cartoons we all grew up with, with Wile E Coyote always getting blown up by Acme TNT 🙂

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know it, Clar – all the Richard Scarry books were big favorites in our house – both when I was growing up and when my kids were little. His work is timeless. I hope your library has this so you can see it – it's very entertaining!

  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Yes, this is VERY non-PC. You could never publish it today. And yet, the story is about the importance of friendship and helping others. The adventures are exciting and fun, which encourages children to enjoy the experience of reading.

  17. Teresa Robeson says:

    Oh gosh, I have so many fond memories of Richard Scarry – his books and also the tv specials. I read them to my kids too when they were tots. Thanks for a trip down memory lane, Susanna!

  18. platientdreamer says:

    What a cute fun book for kids. Love the illustrations. Sounds such hard-case. Must see if I can get it down here. Thanks Susanna.

  19. pennyklostermann says:

    I'm popping in to say hi and that your book review has me hoping I can find a copy at my library. I do love Richard Scarry.

  20. Amy @ Sunlit Pages says:

    I tried to get this book several weeks ago after you mentioned it on my blog, but sadly, our library does not have a copy! I'm always so sad when I can't get an old book because I know it's unlikely they'll ever replace it.

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