Bozo Under The Sea Record Reader

Submitted by Michael Ely August 18th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner
This is a children’s Record Reader book from Capital Records in 1948, which comes with 2 10-inch 78 rpm records and a illustrated 18 page book. The idea is that the child would read the story along with the character and then the record would signal you when it was time to turn the page in the book. I remember that we sometimes used these for story time in school when I was a kid back in the 1950’s, a lucky student was picked each afternoon to sit in front of the class and turn the pages while we listened to the record.
This Record Reader is about Bozo the clown and his adventures under the sea. If you are like me, clowns have always been a bit creepy, but not Bozo. Don’t ask me why, but Bozo always seemed non-threatening and loveable. Anyway, as the story goes, Bozo dives out of a small boat and sinks to the bottom of the sea where he ends up conversing with various inhabitants of the ocean. What is so wonderful about the book is the incredible, campy, often surreal-like pictures of Bozo and all of the colorful sea creatures he encounters. The records themselves are a hoot too as Bozo talks with a Sting Ray (who whips seahorses with his tail), a Fiddling Crab (who plays the fiddle), a school of fish (at school), an Electric Eel (who shocks poor Bozo), etc. In one part, Bozo removes his helmet and begins to drown as he tries to swim to the surface (making horrible gurgling sounds), and the only way you can save him is to turn the page!

5 Responses to “Bozo Under The Sea Record Reader”

  1. Allee Willis

    I love this low tech multimedia excursion. If only it were as easy nowadays to tell someone to cue a record depending on what they read in text. Really stunning find.

    Artwork is gorgeous.

    I, too, am not a clown fan but made an exception for Bozo.

  2. Douglas Wood

    LOVE the artwork, especially the surreal painting of Bozo looking like “Robot Monster” and the jelly fish. Would look great framed and matted on a wall. These pictures confirm that 1940’s artwork is the best– love the color palette and the stylization.

  3. denny

    The artwork is beautiful but I am also a big fan of under water helmuts and hey, it’s Bozo, I love Bozo. I also love the faces on the seahorses.