Angie, the Tuesday Hound, asked:
“Is there a book from your youth that you would love to have a copy of now?”
I must have mentioned these before, since books have been a major part of my life. My mother and aunt read and read to me from the beginning; that’s what I wanted from them.
I actually have some of the books that were my favorites, or I have been able to find copies. However, some were left in another state and I cannot find others like them.
One of the problems is that “Elf Books”, which were Rand McNally’s answer to “Little Golden Books” were printed on inferior paper, (high acid, I assume), and they have almost all disintegrated. Seriously, the paper completely breaks down. Since they were not as well-known nor as popular as Little Golden Books, so far fewer were printed or kept; even the ones I have are torn and fragile.
It really is too bad; some of those stories were really darling and I can still see the artwork in my mind, mostly because I read them to my nieces when I was a teen and in my early 20s.
Another reason as to why I can’t get copies of much-loved books is that the publishers ‘updated’ a few and, as far as I am concerned, ruined the stories and artwork; the original versions cannot be found.
I know that I have told this here, [https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/childrens-stories-lost-and-found/]. I know that I have at some time listed books that I would love to have again. Apart from repeating myself, (which may happen too often anyway), it occurred to me that there are a special few which I would like to have that can never be replaced:
the little books that I wrote.
I did a few, but not very many, maybe four, but I may have forgotten some. My mother used to bring up the first quite often when I was older and I don’t remember much about it except for one of the pictures: A bird’s nest in a tree; the book was a story based on birds in our yard. I was never great at art, but it was done in pastels and for my age, I don’t think it was bad, at least to my family, and to the teacher that I had at the time. Many of my teachers were tough and overly critical of me. One stopped me with criticism in front of the class on my drawings; I have only been able to draw a bit since then when I just don’t think about it, (and I overthink nearly everything). The last book I turned in at school was based on a topic suggested as a writing exercise in my class ‘Language’ book, which was was “My Friend From Venus”. The teacher that year was not impressed and questioned me in front of the class again. Frankly, for a 4th grader, I think I did pretty well, (and I made myself do illustrations despite my inhibitions. I was proud of them). Sadly, that stopped me. I didn’t write in earnest for about 18 years. (I didn’t try to do any real art for about 30.)
I wish I had those four (?) books now. I have kept most of the writings that my sons did, (one didn’t write much), and all that the grandkids have done. I bound books in construction paper,(as mine were), for my oldest grandson when he was young. There is another that he wrote when he was older, which is in my desk drawer. I have works he started as a teen in conjunction with his then-girlfriend. The granddaughters use to do stories here on my PC and print out ‘newspapers’ for the family and those are still on my computer or also in my desk drawers. I found a song from many years ago that the granddaughters and grandson were worked on while visiting here. I have that tucked away as well.
S, there we are. I just saw that there is one favorite Elf Book available on Amazon and I hope to get back soon to order it, (“Bunny Hopwell’s First Spring”).
However, sometimes you just have to live with loss.
There were many great books and stories that I loved and that influenced my life when I was young, but my grandkids, their teachers, and their elementary school library introduced me to great, other, newer works.
That may be worth another entire post; there are many books that have come out since I was a kid, (or my kids were kids), that I have fallen in love with, and never would have known if not for the grandkids.
We’ll explore that soon.