Peanuts books make my mailbox happy

Today was a good day, bringing in two shipments of Peanuts books.

The main shipment had a few recent books. I got the boxed Oh Friend Of Friends set, so I can confirm that the included booklet is a smaller abridgement of the already small-and-short hardback giftbook of Oh Friend Of Friends. The booklet version has seven daily strips, reprinted in color, one panel per page, plus friendship-related quotes from various folk. Again, this is not a must-own thing, but it might make a cute stocking stuffer.

Also included in this shipment were Good Grief, It’s Mother’s Day and It’s Father’s Day, Charlie Brown, two kiddie storybooks spinning tales out of strip storylines, trying to fill the holes for holidays which never had their own Peanuts animated specials.

But it’s the other shipment that made me do a little “happy collector” dance. Arriving from Belgium was a copy of School Peanuts 2. Now, those of you who’ve were long-time subscribers or who have journeyed through my online Museum of Odd Peanuts Books have read about School Peanuts 3, an all-English book published in Denmark which uses Peanuts strips and related essays. This book is much the same, with somewhat more insipid text. Aimed at fifth year English students, this book has the stated goal of teaching students both the American way of life and American English (as opposed to British English, which is presumably what was largely taught in European schools when this book came out 33 years back.)

Thing is, it gets both the culture and the language wrong. American students do not generally “get five different marks, A-B-C-D and E.” And as for language, even ignoring the rare misspellings, the use of traditional English punctuation standards rather than American ones (yes, I just read Eats, Shoots, & Leaves, a fun book of punctuation nerdiness), or even some punctuation that doesn’t fit any grammar known to man. You see, there are definitions of some vocabulary words on each strip-and-essay spread. There we learn that frown means “draw the eyebrows together to express dislike” and that Triplane is “a plane with three planes”.

I presume there is a School Peanuts 1, and possibly numbers beyond three as well. However, these books aren’t common. Currently, beyond the two volumes now in the AAUGH.comm reference library, I know of one other copy of 2 (which happens to be for sale), and that’s it. I’ve yet to hear from a single other collector who has any of these volumes. In fact, if anyone reading this has any School Peanuts volumes, let me know. Drop me a line at nat@aaugh.com if you have any in your collection.

So that was a great shipment… and yet, the shipment that arrived yesterday made me even happier. More on that one next time! Now I’ve got to get back to the visual redesign of AAUGH.com.

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