Thursday, July 3, 2008

Children's books...

There is no substitute for books in the life of a child.
~ Mary Ellen Chase, 1952

Just look at these treasures I found at Bearly Read books the other day!!

Little Bird (copyright 1964; by Catherine Stahlmann/illustrator Irma Wilde) is so sweet - a little "Junior Elf Book" about a baby bird who discovers everyday joys - he likes greeting the sun best, then eating best, then taking a bath best, then flying best (etc, etc), and then just being a baby bird best!
Wildflowers (copyright 1932; by Jane Harvey/illustrator Irving Lawson) is filled with the prettiest paintings and descriptions of a wide variety of flowers.
Mick The Disobedient Puppy (copyright ~1956; by Noel Barr/illustrator P.B. Hickling) is one of a series of Ladybird books. This book is so beautifully illustrated. The story and illustrations tell of a rambunctious little black poodle and how he went from being thought of as naughty to being thought of as quite the hero!


How could I pass up this 1956 copy of Romper Room Do Bees - A Book of Manners (by Nancy Claster/illustrator Eleanor Dart). After all, I grew up with Miss Jean and always tried to be a Do Bee!
Or this 1961 My Flower Book (by Dorothy Thompson Landis/illustrator Elizabeth Webbe)...The illustrations are just adorable - cottage gardens for sure!

The "Romper Room Manners" book belonged to a little boy named "Bobby D" and this is pretty much the only page that was marked up in the book... a chart where "Mother" could check off if you were a "Do Bee" for specific days and chores. It appears that Bobby D. wanted no part of that chart. I certainly don't think scribbling and coloring over that chart in bright purple crayon made him a "Don't Bee" though.... I prefer to think of him as very creative, and I'm quite certain his mom probably thought so, too!

Now this is a perfect example of a book that makes me go weak in the knees... The Horse That Takes The Milk Around (copyright 1946; by Helen Sterling/illustrator Marjorie Hartwell)...

It is in SUCH good shape except for the normal wear and tear of years and years of being treasured and loved, both for the sweet story and the exceptional illustrations...


This is the back cover of the book... Just look at that mama kitty and her babies following that milk truck on its rounds... This book is done in verse & rhyme, and it follows the milkman and his horse as they get up in the middle of the night to start their deliveries, and ends the next morning when they finally arrive back at the barn...


Just look at that sweet little cottage with its flowerbeds and white picket fence... I just want to move right into this book and live happily ever after! (see what these books do to me??)


And I had to share a few more illustrations from Mick the Disobedient Puppy because they are just so beautiful!


Just look at those robin's egg blue walls, that white painted dresser/mirror, and that peachy pink spread... Even though this book is from the early 50's, it's the same colors that so many of us decorate with today! (Although I have to say that the mom and dad are hardly a representation of what hubby and I look like at bedtime!)


This is "the old lady" who came to tea one day, and who didn't particularly care for dogs. It's so true, how animals will make a beeline right to the people who fear them or don't care for them!! I personally think they're always trying to win them over!


Now this is not an old book at all, but it is by one of my favorite author/illustrators, Tomie dePaola. Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs (text copyright 1973; illustration copyright 1998) is absolutely the sweetest story about Tomie's real life nana and great nana... It's in brand new condition, hardcover, dust jacket and it's a signed 1st edition - for only $6!!
My oldest daughter LOVED Tomie's books when she was little. We read them all the time. She wrote to him when she was in elementary school, and she received back the loveliest hand-written note from him along with a signed photograph. I had always loved him/his books before that, but I totally loved him with a mom's heart from that day on (and that's strong love!) because it made her feel so special that he wrote back to her! (Which I'm sure had no bearing on the fact that she majored in illustration and minored in literature...) [... or did it?]


Yes, used children's books tug at my heartstrings in so many ways... the wonderful stories, the illustrations that make me want to live within the pages... and, as you see above, the sweet inscriptions or scrawled names that are so often found on the inside cover pages. I often wonder how these books got separated from their owners...

The Horse That Takes the Milk Around has an inscription that reads: To "Denny" from "Mummy" and Daddy - Easter 1947...

My Flower Book is inscribed: To Kristen from Grammy 1971... It is scrawled in such childlike penmanship that it makes me wonder if Kristen herself wrote it so she would always remember that her Grammy gave it to her, and when...

The name Adam is written in beautiful penmanship on the top corner of Little Bird. I think Adam's mom probably wrote his name in this lovely little book... Perhaps he reminded her of Little Bird, so excited about the simple joys of ordinary days...

And look at Bobby D., who so carefully centered and wrote his name in the "This Little Golden Book belongs to" section on the inside cover of his Romper Room Do Bees - A Book of Manners... See, he was definitely a Do Bee!

So Denny, Kristen, Adam, and Bobby D... rest assured that your childhood books have found a new home where they will be loved and treasured, just as you loved and treasured them so many years ago...

Books, to the reading child, are so much more than books -- they are dreams and knowledge, they are a future, and a past.

~ Esther Meynell (1940)

Donna

12 comments:

Tracie said...

Hi Donna,
Thank you for sharing these books. I love all the illustrations, takes me back. I remember Romper Room - I used to have one of those baskets you'd put on your head for good posture, do you remember those? I don't remember the ladies name now... Miss ??? betcha I wake up in the middle of the night going "oh yeah!".
That Disobient Puppy looks pretty swell to me ;)
xo~Tracie

Adrienne said...

You found some sweet new books. Isn't it fun to have such treasures? ~Adrienne~

Mary said...

Oh, I love children's books! We've saved quite a few from when my kids were small, because I just could not bear to part with them. The words are like ghosts in my head, and oh, the illustrations!!!

Now, I'm thinking I will start rereading them!
xoxo,
Mary

Connie said...

That is a sweet delightful post!! How imaginative of you to write it. I'm a life long reader as each of my kids are. I even found my son re-reading the classics not too long ago and he's 45! I'm a voracious reader and love to talk about books to friends. Thank you for that, my book bunny!! Enchanting!!
Smoochies,
Connie

Shelia said...

I love your little books. I have all my children's books from their childhood and a few of my own. These are so sweet! Have a wonderful fourth of July,
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Janet said...

I am still trying to find a book I had as a small child; it was not a Golden Book, but a book of similar ilk. It starred a worm who lived under a weeping willow tree. I don't know why I remember this book of all the books I had as a child, but it ha stuck with me. Maybe because I can't remember the name of it and no one else has ever heard of it.

Janet

Dana said...

I'm crazy about old children's books,too. You were so lucky to find those in such great condition and at such a good price. I still have one I won for a spelling contest in first grade. I don't know how I won the contest, but I sill love my book!

At Home in the Country said...

Oh those are darling little books. I have kept almost all of my children's books. How can you not? I also love the illustrations, the kitties and the milk truck..oh how sweet.

Thanks for sharing with us! Have a wonderful 4th of July celebration.

~Jill

Joy said...

I love those little books you found. What prizes you have there.

Brenda Kula said...

Oh, I wonder how real estate is selling on the street where that house sits with the white picket fence? I want it! I've always wanted a house with a white picket fence, but then I guess all of us have! Sweet little books. I know you'll take extra good care of them!
Brenda

Book said...

One of my favourites was Enid Blyton's 'Magic Faraway Tree' books. Bayard have nice collection of books to suit ages 3 - 5, 6 - 9 and 10 - 12 respectively : StoryBoxBooks, AdventureBoxBooks, DiscoveryBoxBooks

Nola @ Alamo North said...

Hi Donna, Just stopped by to see your books. Yes, I'd scoop up everyone of those and they'd have a new home with me! I remember romper room, but the lady I remember was Miss Mary Lynn; how I can remember that name after all this time is beyond me, but it just popped into my brain. I seem to remember her looking through a hand held mirror/magnifying glass/something-or-other to see who all out in tv land were "do bees". She never once called my name!