An ALA Notable Book A School Library Journal Best of the Best Book A New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year A National Book Award Finalist "A must!" declared School Library Journal of this ALA Notable Book and National Book Award Finalist, now available in a glorious new hardcover edition. Blending fantasy and reality in a big-city setting, three unforgettable and wonderfully illustrated tales recount the adventures of Mitzi and her little brother as they attempt to visit their grandparents, recuperate from colds, and meet the president. "Thanks to Lore Segal's antic words, and Harriet Pincus's antic pictures, children will find Tell Me a Mitzi a hilarious picnic." — Publishers Weekly "Author and illustrator have caught the essence of childhood in this captivating picture book. The three stories mix fantasy with reality and are told with naturalness and warmth. The illustrations, so filled with details and surprises they invite repeated scrutiny, have verity and vitality, poignancy and endearing humor." — Booklist "A remarkable joint tour de force." — The Washington Post Book World "This is possibly one of the funniest books in print." — The Saturday Review "The fantasy is as real as tomorrow's ice cream cone, the three Mitzi stories more than bull's-eyes ... A triumph." — Kirkus Reviews "[The first book I fell in love with] was a children's book called Tell Me a Mitzi by Lore Segal and illustrated by Harriet Pincus. My mother used to read this to me every night before I went to sleep. It's a story about a little girl who takes her baby brother out on adventures around the city while their parents are sleeping. I loved it because it was about the pleasures of radical independence and the discovery of the world. And because I so deeply loved my little brother. To this day, my mother still calls me 'Mitzi.'" — Ottessa Moshfegh, author of Eileen and My Year of Rest and Relaxation
About the Author
Lore Segal's nine books for children include her acclaimed translation of stories in The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm, a collaboration with her longtime friend, Maurice Sendak. Her many grants and awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, grants from the NEA and NEH, and two PEN/O. Henry Awards. Harriet Pincus (1938–2001) was an author, editor, and illustrator of children's books that include Minna and Pippin, The Wedding Procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle and Who Was In It (featuring text by Carl Sandburg; also available from Dover), and Little Red Riding Hood.
Read an Excerpt
MITZI TAKES A TAXI
"Tell me a story," said Martha.
Once upon a time (said her mother) there was a Mitzi. She had a mother and a father and a brother who was a baby. His name was Jacob.
One morning Mitzi woke up. Jacob was in his crib, asleep. Mitzi went and looked in her mother and father's room. They were asleep.
She looked in the living room. There was nobody there. There was nobody in the kitchen.
Mitzi went back into the children's room, shook the crib and said, "Jacob, are you asleep?"
Jacob said, "Dadadadada."
"Good," said Mitzi. "What shall we do?"
"Let's go to Grandma and Grandpa's house," said Jacob.
"Right," said Mitzi. "Let's go."
"First make me my bottle," said Jacob. So Mitzi got Jacob's bottle, carried it into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator and took out a carton of milk and opened it and took the top off Jacob's bottle and poured in the milk and put the top back on and closed the carton and put it back in the refrigerator and closed the door and carried the bottle into the children's room and gave it to Jacob and said, "Let's go."
Jacob said, "Change my diaper." So Mitzi climbed into Jacob's crib and took his pajamas off and took off his rubber pants and took the pins out of his diaper and climbed out of the crib and put the diaper in the diaper pail and took a fresh diaper and climbed into the crib and put the diaper on Jacob and put in the pins and put on a fresh pair of rubber pants and Jacob said, "Dress me." So Mitzi lifted Jacob out of the crib and put him on the floor and she put on his shirt and his overalls and his socks. She put on his right shoe and his left shoe and his snowsuit and his mittens and tied his hat under his chin and said, "Now let's go."
Jacob said, "In your pajamas?"
When Mitzi had got on her shirt and her skirt and her socks and her shoes and put herself into her snowsuit and found her mittens and tied her hat under her chin, Jacob said, "Now let's go."
Mitzi put Jacob in his stroller and pushed the stroller out of their front door and along the hall to the elevator.
"Only I can't reach the button," she said.
"Take me out and hold me up," said Jacob. So Mitzi took Jacob out of the stroller and held him way up and Jacob pressed the button. When the elevator came, Mitzi pushed the stroller in, the door closed and the elevator went down to the ground floor and the door opened.
The doorman in the lobby said, "Good morning, Mitzi. Good morning, Jacob."
Jacob said, "Dadadada."
Mitzi said, "We're going to Grandma and Grandpa's house."
The doorman helped Mitzi take the stroller down the steps and Mitzi pushed Jacob to the corner of the street and called, "TAXI!"
A taxi stopped and the driver gout out and came around to their side. He lifted Jacob out of the stroller and put him in the back seat and lifted Mitzi in and folded up the stroller and put it in the empty front seat and walked around to his side and got in and said, "Where to?"
"Grandma and Grandpa's house, please," said Mitzi.
"Where do they live?" asked the driver.
"I don't know," said Mitzi.
So the driver got out and came around to the other side and took the stroller from the front seat and unfolded it on the sidewalk and took Jacob out and put him in the stroller and took Mitzi out and put her on the sidewalk and walked around to his side and got in and drove away.
Mitzi pushed Jacob back to the house.
The doorman helped her get the stroller up the stairs and he pushed the elevator button for them. They got out on their floor and went in their front door and into their room. Mitzi took Jacob out of the stroller and untied his hat and took off his mittens. She took off his snowsuit and his right shoe and his left shoe and his socks and his overalls and his shirt and put on his pajamas and lifted him into his crib. Then she undressed herself and put her pajamas on and got back into bed and covered herself up and then the alarm clock rang in her mother and father's room.
Mitzi's mother came into the children's room and said, "Good morning, Mitzi," and Mitzi said, "Morning, Mommy," and her mother said, "Good morning, Jacob," and Jacob said, "Dadada."
"Come to Mommy, Jacob," said his mother. "I'll get you a nice bottle and change your diaper," and she took him out of the crib and she said, "Mitzi, today can you be a really big girl and take off your own pajamas all by yourself?"
"You do it," said Mitzi. "I'm exhausted."
"Exhausted, are you!" said her mother. "How come you're exhausted so early in the morning?"
"Because I am," said Mitzi. "Mommy! Where do Grandma and Grandpa live?"
"Six West Seventy-seventh Street," said her mother. "Why do you ask?"
"Because," said Mitzi.
Excerpted from "Tell Me a Mitzi"
Copyright © 2017 Lore Segal.
Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
MITZI TAKES A TAXI,
MITZI AND THE PRESIDENT,