Thursday, January 27, 2011

Little Golden Books

Who remembers these books? The stories of sad little Puff who learns the hard way what it means to be a good friend and wise little Bobbie who chooses to spend his money not on things, but on a memorable experience!

These were a couple of unforgettables from my Pre-K Reading List.
Here's another one:

This innocent autumn scene by artist Eloise Wilkin (1904-1987) appears in her illustrated edition of Robert Louis Stevenson's Child's Garden of Verses (click on the picture to enlarge the text for reading Stevenson's, "Autumn Fires"). Known for her darling portrayals of chubby-cheeked children, Wilkin worked for Simon & Schuster, illustrating Little Golden Books from 1943 - 1961.

I had a few of her books as a child, and the dreamy child-centric life depicted on those pages contributed greatly to the vision of a perfect world that danced in my little head. As for visions of sugar plums, I looked no further than the gingerbread house with windows of spun sugar in Wilkin's illustrated Hansel and Gretel, one of my earliest Little Golden Books:

I've had these books for a long, long time.
Remember the old rhyme?

Make new friends but keep the old,
one is silver, the other gold.

These old friends are Golden!

I was also fond of the Child Horizons Series, especially the story of how "Mr. Apple Names the Children." The boys are called MacIntosh and Jonathan; the girls are called Delicious (Delia, for short) and -- my favorite -- Snow. Snow Apple. What a great name!

See, in the upper left hand corner of the orange book: that's Mr. Apple at the library (back before the internet), researching apple species, trying to find the perfect name for his baby girl (story by Jean McDevitt). I also liked the one about Tallulah, a bookish girl who spent her days hiding up in a chinaberry tree, reading her favorite books and spying on the passersby. What a great pasttime!

Link to earlier blog post: "Childhood Autumn"