COVER TEXT ILLUSTRATION

  Boku wa Ôsama contains nonsense short stories in which the unique protagonist Ôsama [King] is given the characteristics of a young child. Teramura (1928 -) developed a new phase of nonsense in Japanese children's literature. This is the first collection of Teramura's works containing four stories: "Zô no Tamago no Tamagoyaki" [Fried Egg of an Elephant], "Shabondama no Kubikazari" [A Necklace Made of Soap Bubbles], "Uso to Honto no Hôsekibako" [A Jewel Box Containing Truth and Lies], and "Sâkasu ni Haitta Ôsama" [The King Joins a Circus]. This book was serialized and is still popular.
  In "Zô no Tamago no Tamago Yaki," the king who loves to eat eggs planned to cook a special dish of eggs to celebrate the birth of his son. He thought it necessary to have a very big egg to cook enough food for all his people, and ordered his ministers to search for the egg of an elephant. Of course, an elephant is a mammal and thus bear no eggs, but nobody notices that, and seriously go searching for "the egg of an elephant." Their fruitless effort is described humorously. In "Shabondama no Kubikazari," the king is fascinated with soap bubbles and tries to make a necklace of it. As the foreword says "there is a king like this in every home-- " the king's thought and act reflects a child's way of thinking which is unexpected and free from common sense.
  "Zô no Tamago no Tamago Yaki" was praised greatly by Matsui Tadashi. At first, the illustrations were by Wada Makoto, but since 1966 when Teramura began working at Akane Shobô and met Wakayama Shizuko, Wakayama drew the illustrations for this series.
  When Boku wa Ôsama was published, it was criticized as it had nothing new as nonsense tales for children, or its moral was not clear. However, children welcomed this book, and it received the Mainichi Award for Publication in 1961.