I have many boxes from my childhood. I've been slowly sorting through their contents, discovering mementos like t-shirts (I was on the A's softball team in elementary school during my only team sport stint) and buttons (including multiple Ben & Jerry's tour pins, which they don't even give out anymore). I honestly don't know what to do with all these pieces of my youth. They trigger vague memories, but they don't hold a special place in my heart. Yet I feel guilty getting rid of them....
Then I came upon a box I had hoped to find: my childhood books! I finally had a fun-filled walk down memory lane and no decisions to make. I was definitely keeping these! There are certainly too many to share, but in keeping with the nature of this blog, I will only post the picture books. And rather than pull cover pictures from the internet, I'll take the pictures myself, just to show you how "old" and well-loved my copies look :)
grandmother passed away in November and I was struck by what else I had just
learned about her. She gave me a picture
book for Christmas before I even turned one.
She signed her name “Nana”, which she always asked us to call her, but
we never did. She was always Grandma to
me. (Why is that?) I also learned that she placed a value on
reading and learning. This story
deliberately teaches a lesson, which is something I would attribute to
her. A panda and his brother go shopping
for cake ingredients, creating shortcuts by “finding” the seeds and berries
along the way. The older brother sends
the younger home with the ingredients while he goes to the fair with his mother's money. The animals that all
felt robbed were invited for cake and when the irresponsible brother returns
home, all he gets are “two crusty pieces of leftover bread.”
Miss Suzy (Author: Miriam Young; Illustrator: Arnold Lobel) – This book feels like a
home-grown bedtime story, as it rambles a bit and doesn’t feel too cohesive,
but as a child, I loved it. Miss Suzy,
the tidy gray squirrel is chased out of her house by a gang of red
squirrels. She finds refuge in an
abandoned attic dollhouse. She is soon
joined by a troop of toy soldiers she finds in a box and “she took care of them
like a mother.” (Upon re-reading this, I was
reminded of Snow White.) Finally, when
she shares her tragedy with the soldiers, they march on the red squirrels and
force them out of Miss Suzy’s house. The
whole story wraps up with the soldiers agreeing to come to dinner once a week
and Miss Suzy tidying up her house just as it was. The muted and then colorful illustrations by
Arnold Lobel are a real treat.
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (Author/Illustrator: Dr. Seuss) - What's a childhood without Dr. Seuss? I loved the silly rhymes and all the concoctions of his imagination. I remember The Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back were favorites, as well, but they were not in my book box.