Bertram and His Funny Animals
“Bertram’s family…well, they’re unmistakably American and yet they have that solid blend of reality and fantasy that makes Alice a real little girl in a world of mock-turtles and talking caterpillars.…I would put the [Bertram] stories on the same shelf with such [a classic] as ‘The Wizard of Oz.’”
—Stephen Vincent Benét, American poet (1898–1943)
Little Bertram, he’s always bringing home the most extraordinary pets, usually after asking his mamma for permission first, of course. But who ever heard of cutting holes in the ceiling for a giraffe? Or running from a dangerously ticklish rhinoceros? If only Bertram would bring home a dog or a cat or even a turtle instead, he might not find himself in such predicaments. And his mamma—my, is she frazzled!
Author Paul T. Gilbert, who happened to have a son just like Bertram, first imagined these pet-ownership mishaps as bedtime stories. Bertram and His Funny Animals became a book in 1934. Now it’s back in a new edition, and this time a troublesome camel joins the original’s mischievous menagerie! Children will love Bertram’s cackle-inducing dilemmas and the sweet drawings by Minnie Rousseff, and parents will delight in tales filled with the charming foibles of childhood.
Assisting Bertram in his misadventures are his well-behaved little brother, Baby Sam, and friends Ginny and George. Aunt Ella and Great-Aunt Jane reliably offer their disapproval. Neighbor Mrs. Cree is appropriately nosy. Bertram’s mamma, well, she means well. And Bertram’s daddy always manages to save the day (that is, when he gets back from business in Omaha).About the AUTHOR
Paul T. Gilbert (1876–1953) was a career newspaperman, most notably for the Chicago Evening Post
, from the turn of the twentieth century until the Great Depression. For the delight of his readers during his years as a columnist and feature writer, Gilbert took on stints as a museum guard and mounted policeman, and circus acrobat, animal trainer, and clown. In the early 1930s he invented the Bertram stories, which he modeled after family and friends, including his wife, Ilse, and their two sons, Paul Jr. and Peter. Child Life
magazine published nearly seventy of the now-classic tales.