by Jacquelyn Reinach & Richard Hefter

Sweet Pickle Books

When I was doing some work on a new line of animal characters for Playskool, I remembered these crazy books I loved as a kid and decided I needed them again. They are the stories of 26 animals corresponding to a letter in the alphabet who live in a town together called Sweet Pickles. Each animals name has an adjective to describe them for example- Bashful Bear, Goof-off Goose, Jealous Jackal, Questioning Quail and even X-Rating Xerus. Each book features one character and tells a story where their personality trait somehow messes things up for them. The character in an indirect way learns a lesson about being a better animal. And at the end of the book it always seems that the character goes back to what they were and can’t really change. The drawings are so weird and wonky using thin line and psychedelic 1970s colors and the perspective is always slightly wrong. Looking back, I wonder if my drawing style was influenced by these books. The best part of the books are the endpapers. The front endpaper is a chart of every character and the back endpaper is a map of the town. You can buy these on ebay very cheap or you can wait for spring stoop sales which is where my friend Dave picked up a whole stack of them for me in perfect condition.

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