“Curse you, Red Baron!”
~ Snoopy, in “Snoopy and the Red Baron”
I’ve loved Peanuts since I can remember – everyone in my family has, starting with my grandpa – and it’s really such a part of American pop culture that I was surprised to realize the other day that I take a lot of its development for granted. I know Snoopy has many different personas, but I never really thought much about his WWI Flying Ace one, where his arch nemesis is the Red Baron (who was a real person, by the way). While organizing a few bookshelves, I came across a small red book, titled “Snoopy and the Red Baron” rel=”external”>Snoopy and the Red Baron” and realized I had never even known a book about this very popular and famous Snoopy persona had been written. How cool.
The book is very simple, made with two different colors of paper, and black and white drawings. No fancy stuff needed here – although the characters are adorable and heartwarming, the writing is always what has made the Peanuts so great.
The most charming parts of this book (and so many of the Peanuts’ adventures) are the fantasies created from Snoopy’s extremely vivid imagination (and how most surrounding him simply tolerate it).
I love how he temporarily pauses his imaginary world when he has to, but slips right back in just as soon as the “pretend offender” is out of the way.
I also love how Snoopy, being an extremely brave, macho dog of course, can find the peril in any situation. That’s not a harmless jumprope! Oh no!
And only Snoopy can merge the two worlds together in his own mind at the end of his adventure to bring it all together. It is, after all, the world he has created out of his very lively, exciting, wonderful imagination.
As I said, I never even knew this book existed, and I was excited to find it was published before I was even born (1967). It was actually given as a gift to my dad, as he was joining the Navy. He was 25 years old when he received this book – younger than I am now – but still an adult. Even though it was probably packed in a box for decades and that’s why I never got a chance to read it when I was a kid, I’m glad it survived the years and now I feel like I have even more appreciation for it as a grown-up. Woh-woh-woh-woh-WOH.
Snoopy and the Red Baron