Vintage Movable Review: Ha-Ha Farm

I learned about Carlyle Leech when I came across the 1943 release of the Hide and Seek Riddle Book a while back.  Carlyle was a children’s book creator that was most prolific in the 1940’s.  In 1944, he teamed up with his wife, Thirma, to create Ha-Ha Farm, which is advertised as an animated laughing animal book.  That is exactly what we get here.  I must confess that I purchased this more for the disarming illustrations than the mechanics.  The format is a tried and true pairing of rhyming verse and movable element.  In this case, a popular farm animal is caused to “laugh” at the swing of a single pivot rocker tab. I wish there was a sequel called Ha-Ha Safari, so I could see the hyena in action.  My favorite farm animal is the cow that rolls the whites of her eyes when uttering a jolly “Moo” as if she was reminded of the classic joke.  Q: “Why do cows wear bells?”  A: “Because their horns don’t work.”

Looks like new generations can get in on the fun because the Laughing Elephant published a reprint of the book in 2009.  No joke.

~Kyle

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