Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Word about Robb White

If you go to Amazon and search for a children's book called The Lion's Paw, you will find 61 review entries that go something like this: "When I was a kid in the fifties, I read this book, and I've been looking for it ever since."

I didn't write a review, but add me to that list. I read The Lion's Paw by Robb White when I was in the fifth grade. That was actually the 60s, but who's quibbling over a few years? Seems I'm not alone in remembering the story and wanting to read it again. You can get a hardcover of it for around three hundred dollars. The cheapest I've seen lately is fifty-six dollars for a petty beat up paperback. I'm still hoping I'll find it in someone's yard sale for a quarter some day, but that's not very likely.

The story is about three orphans who sail off on a sloop because the oldest one's uncle is about to sell it. They encounter many adventures along the way. The heart of the story is their courage and determination. The book is set in Florida, which has been my personal backyard since I was four. It's a lovely tale with brilliant detail that makes you feel as if you're right there with the kids sailing the waters with them.

Robb White wrote a few children's books, most of them adventures of this type. Rumor has it his second wife holds the rights to Lion's Paw. I truly wish she would strike a deal with some publisher to reprint the book. A platoon of baby boomers would make it an instant best seller. I'm already regretting that I didn't bid on the copy that went for fifty-six bucks.

When I began forming my thoughts for A Lotus-Covered Door, it didn't take long at all to come up with a name for my hero. He lives on his sailboat, drifts around the world seeking adventure, never shies away from anything that crosses his path. So of course, his name is Robb.

See? Everything happens for a reason.

Have a great day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You can actually find hardback copies of this book for under $100 if you search diligently enough. Robb White was the first author I ever "read" starting in the 5th grade just like you. I started collecting his books - first editions - a couple years ago and have gotten a few really good deals both on Ebay and Amazon, simply by frequent searching. I still need to find a couple to have them all. I still need Sail Away, In Privateer's Bay, and Three against the sea. I have duplicate copies of several others, so they will likely end up on Ebay soon.