Lazy Tommy Pumpkinhead 
William Pene Du Bois 1966
 One of the first books I found - going on instinct only - was this one, Lazy Tommy Pumpkinhead.  Knowing far less about buying vintage children's books than I do now, I had the "feeling" about it.  First of all, the illustrations are so unique and inventive; and the cover just captivated me on sight.

Slightly Off-Topic Buying Tip: Budget Working with a small budget, sometimes you have to be picky and reject some books. But just like shopping for clothes or anything else you are passionate about, some things tug at you after you leave them behind. I have found (knock on wood) that 9 times out of ten the book you left behind will still be there a week later.  So don't beat yourself up and make yourself rush back the next day; I do actually believe in fate - if it was meant to be, it will be there for you.

So, back to Lazy Tommy Pumpkinhead... it turned out that this book is quite valuable.  Not only is the author/ illustrator William Pene Du Bois, the son of the famous painter and art critic Guy Pene Du Bois, but also it is part of a rare series that he never finished.  The series was based on the seven deadly sins, this book being #1 and he made only 4.  Why does this make a book even more valuable? Why it is because publishing companies who had a craving to bring these books back into print, decided not to because they could not package the series into a nice complete boxed set - hence, they have been out-of-print since.  Aside from this, I picked up a hard cover which happened to be the first printing of the original publication year (if you have questions on how to read the confusing numbers inside books, refer to my link to the right under "Book Research Links") - and despite the fact that it is an ex-library copy and book club edition, it's cache greatly outweighs these faults.

Slightly Off-Topic Buying Tip: Weird My motto after some experience is "weird = good".  The weirder the better people! Maybe I just have the touch; I do pride myself on living by instinct and following my heart (and my avant-garde tastes help guide this motto.)  I just want to urge people to look for the unusual - you will thank me later!

Here is a complete list of the incomplete seven deadly sins series by William Pene Du Bois:

  • Lazy Tommy Pumpkinhead 1966
  • Pretty Pretty Peggy Moffit 1968
  • Porko Von Popbutton 1969
  • Call Me Bandicoot 1970

>Reference: Peter D. Sieruta @ Collecting Children's Books


Popular Posts