We tend to think of Sylvia Plath in dark tones — the poet and novelist famously struggled with depression and mental illness in her work (her most notable being her novel The Bell Jar and her poetry collections The Colossus and Ariel) before meeting an untimely death at only 30-years-old.
But, Plath had a brighter side to her. She apparently wrote three children’s books. And we probably haven’t heard of them because they’re out of print and some were published after her death. Here’s a look.
1. The It-Doesn’t-Matter Suit
The It-Doesn’t-Matter Suit was published in 1966. In a nutshell, it’s about a young boy named Max who dreams of a suit he can wear for “doing Everything.” You know, one of those day-to-night, fancy-meets-casual, year-round pieces. And he eventually finds it and then never takes it off. Men. Typical.
If you dream it, it will come! A mysterious suit arrives at the house…
Despite his mother’s attempts to tailor the suit to each of his brothers, it fits only Max. Hooray!
2. The Bed Book
Published in 1976 (after Plath’s death), this is a fun, whimsical bedtime story imagining different types of beds. Want them all.
3. Mrs. Cherry’s Kitchen
Mrs. Cherry’s Kitchen was originally penned by Plath in 1958 for a children’s magazine, but didn’t appear in print until it was included in this 2001 collection, which also brought together Plath’s other two children’s works.
According to sylviaplath.info:
Each of Mrs. Cherry’s kitchen and household appliances thinks it can perform another’s duties better. Coffee-Percolator wants to make ice cream; Toaster wants to make ice cubes; Iron wants to put dimpled-squares into waffles…Of course, this makes a mess and the kitchen pixies, who authorized the change-about, must clean up the mess quickly before Mr. and Mrs. Cherry return home.
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