330V: Children’s Book, Poor Artistic Family, Toilet Paper Drawings

I have vivid memories of a children’s chapter book I got out of a Canadian library or school sometime in the mid-’90s. It was about an extremely poor family, a mother, a father, and a daughter who lived in a RV or mobile home or carriage or something; when the daughter registers for school, she says she has no address or birthplace because she was always moving.

They are so poor they can’t afford paper, and so the mother or father, a very talented artist, makes lots of drawings on toilet paper.

There are lots of comic-like drawings—I remember one which had a fork and peas in two panels, the first captioned “unsteady fork, steady peas” and the next with the peas falling off labelled “steady fork, unsteady peas.”

At one point, the daughter gets a letter sent to her with a drawing (reproduced in the book)—right side up it looks like a toucan, upside down it’s a man sitting on a toilet.

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