Monday, 19 September 2011

Cocoa vs. Alveolar prognathism


Glancing through that horrific book Struwwelpeter the other day I was as much struck by the dreadful implications of the story of Little Suck-a-Thumb . . .



. . . as by the extraordinary irony of the advert on the back page of the rather tattered copy in our bookshelves:

12 comments:

Z said...

It is the only book that I remember my mother banning. We had a copy, given by a well-meaning friend, but it was hidden away. I found and read it of course, which probably explains much of my twisted personality.

Dave said...

I see I can blame my parents, who did not give me Fry's Cocoa for breakfast, for my failure to enjoy a strong, stauch maturity.

Christopher said...

It's curious that while several libraries banned Little Black Sambo believing it to be evil, no such steps were taken to ban Struwwelpeter, as far as I know. When Broken Biro comes back from holiday perhaps she can correct me.

Well, whatever you say, Dave, but when we last met I did observe that your thumbs were intact.

Martin said...

The English Struwwelpeter : pretty stories and funny pictures for little children is held in the University Library at Southampton. Students, eh?

Fry's cocoa was my bedtime drink throughout my childhood. My grandparents always made it, using condensed milk!

Christopher said...

Bedtime cocoa with condensed milk! Thanks, Martin, for putting this wonderful idea in my head - I think I'll try it tonight! Maybe with a glug of whisky? Sound sleep guaranteed, plus dreams that one is more circumspect than Johnny-Head-in-Air and taller then Tall Agrippa.

Friko said...

I was brought up on Struwwelpeter and other gruesome tales, like Max und Moritz.

Perhaps that's why I never sucked my thumb and therefore do not suffer the Habsburg jaw.

Just to confuse you even further on the Magpie Tales:

Tess Kincaid once a week provides a prompt in the form of a painting or photograph. Hordes of people with more time than sense rush to compose a post vaguely to do with this prompt. I try to stray as far as possible into the land of homegrown fantasy.
Having been brought up on the above tales and the Brothers Grimm, I usually manage to find a hook to hang a tale.

And cocoa has nothing to do with it at all, with or without condensed milk.
Yuk.

Christopher said...

Well, that's a little mystery cleared up, Friko. Thank you! I couldn't understand what this apparent second sight between you and Martin was, neither of you having any other obvious connection. I wondered if I might start a hare in leaving the same comment on both posts... and I now feel free to compliment you on your writing!

Your explanation of the Habsburg jaw is most interesting. I wonder if other commentators have seized on this explanation?

letouttoplay said...

I'm struck dumb by the horridness of the tales that Victorian parents saw fit to let their children read.

Also by the fact that my parents (one of whom was quite Victorian himself) never saw fit to give me cocoa for breakfast.

Mike and Ann said...

Got a Strewwelpeter somewhere. Would never read it (or show it)to my children or grandchildren, but I wouldn't think it would give them worse nightmares than Alice in Wonderland might.

Spadoman said...

I would imagine then, that drinking the cocoa would ward off thumb sucking? This German storyteller's illustrations made me think of the movie here in the USA with Johnny Depp entitled, "Edward Scissorshands". He didn't cut off thumbs, but he did have hands that look like the guy who did!

Peace

Anonymous said...

I too 'thumbed' through Struwwelpeter as a small child and was fascinated by its horror. Except, I sucked my forefinger and middle together and realised I was safe. Now, there's a topic for a PhD 'Thumb or combination of other digits. [the sucking of]'. Of course, today's boys have a great deal more chopped off in the tales told them on their digital telling of stories X-boxes.

Rosie said...

I still have a copy of Strewelpeter, lost Little Black Sambo, and the third knitting project, (age four) was a golliwog...that's education in scotland in the fifties, ha, ha. Hope your blog hasn't gone forever.