Actually, I don’t know that it was published in the late 70s – I know I read it in the late 70s, so it could potentially have been published anytime before that.
I don’t remember the title or the author, but I have a pretty good recollection of some of the content.
It was one of those books written for little kids – they type that are mostly illustrations with just a few lines of text per page. The story concerned a boy who lived in a house that did everything for him. He woke up, and his bed would tip forward, causing him to slip off through a hole in the floor where machines would bathe him, dress him, brush his teeth, feed him breakfast, etc. When that process was over, he was deposited at the foot of a staircase.
This is the part that I remember most vividly. The page depicted the boy at the bottom of a long staircase, on his hands and knees, with his hand reaching for the first step. The text indicated that he would spend his entire day climbing that staircase, at which point he’d crawl back into bed and the whole process would start anew the next morning.
I can’t quite remember what happens next. I think there might be mechanical problems with the machines, forcing him to do things on his own, etc.
Obviously a parable about how modern conveniences will make us all fat, lazy and stupid. But what fascinated me as a kid was that he would spend his ENTIRE day climbing that staircase. I tried to figure out how that was possible. How slow must he have been moving? Does he fall down and have to start again? Does he stop along the way for naps?
Ring any bells with anyone?