Originally posted at YAAYNHO http://obscurekidlitauthors.blogspot.com/2011/03
Sunday, March 13, 2011
I love Winnie-the-Pooh! Disney, I guess, did a Winnie-the-Poo special a couple of times a year back in the day. Always something to anticipate! Each show was a faithful retelling of a Pooh chapter. They even included the line which goes ...like this? "...all the way from the bottom of page 2 to the top of page 4..." Piglet is my favorite WtP character. Even though he's small and vulnerable he sticks it out in the most "dangerous" 100 Acre Wood situations! Okay, so there maybe a bit of calling for help involved but he doesn't go hide until it's over.
I named my laptop before this laptop "Piglet" chiefly because it's so small compared to the laptop it replaced. Once upon a time, a Geek Squad tech had trouble with this. I don't remember why. Maybe he had spent the previous day with Eeyore?
The Golden Book that I loved best was the one on horses. I was enamored of horses at that age and I thought every color illustration a work of art. I also set about memorizing various useless but fascinating facts. Did you know that Arabian horses have one less rib than other horses? So said my Golden Book. I also had a copy of Black Beauty.
Well, by now, I’d developed the reputation for being a bookworm, so it’s no surprise that my best friends gave me books for my birthday. That’s how I acquired “Donna Parker at Cherrydale” and “Polly French & the Surprising Stranger”. This pair were my first introductions to “teen romance”, to the extent that it was mentioned or described in those days. (1950’s)
I still own my mom’s second grade reader, my dad’s 8th grade reader and the fourth grade readers of both my parents.
The wealth of authors involved is truly astounding! So is the variety of styles and subjects in the stories and essays! Please excuse me while I don't get up on a soapbox--and fall off--but still manage to mourn for schoolchildren who will never receive the riches that were bestowed on us year after year. To be clear, the books we were lent each semester bore little resemblance to "new". I had a history text in sixth grade which was more mold than paper. I just don't understand what happened to early education in this country since the time when I was being, uh, early-educated.
Excuse me while I bore you with descriptions of these old books.
Do you see a trend here? Fairy tales!
Here's a peek at the gorgeous cover at:
My mom’s fourth grade reader was my second favorite book:
Who are the authors? Do modern elementary school readers still try to introduce classic writers in fourth grade? Alfred, Lord Tennyson; Robert Louis Stevenson; William Shakespeare; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; Walter de la Mare; The Younger Edda; Robert Browning; Teddy Roosevelt. (Wait til you see the authors in the 8th grade book.)
Divided into the following sections:
Pt.1 Sailing the Seven Seas;
Pt.2 Boys & Girls Who Became Famous;
Pt.3 Out-of-Door Tales;
Pt.4 Doing the World’s Work;
Pt.5 In Story Land;
Pt.6 The Making of America.
Much of this was pretty stern stuff compared to my mom’s reader.
What? No Shakespeare? Not in that collection or in my mom's but I did have my uncle's copy of Lamb's "Tales From Shakespeare". I didn't know what an apostrophe was so, for years, I thought the author called young readers "lambs".
Pt.2 The World of Adventure (which includes: Masque of the Red Death; Noyes’ The Highwayman; A Christmas Carol; and the Lamb version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream;
Pt. 3 The Great American Experiment;
Pt.4 Literature and Life in the Homeland.
William Cullen Bryant; Wm Wordsworth; P B Shelley; Wm Shakespeare; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Robt Browning; Edgar Allan Poe; Sir Walter Scott; Henry Longfellow; Ch Dickens; Lord Byron; Joyce Kilmer; Daniel Webster; George Washington; Abraham Lincoln; Woodrow Wilson; Theodore Roosevelt; Robert Burns; Rudyard Kipling; Oliver Wendell Holmes; John G Whittier; Nathaniel Hawthorne; O Henry; Mark Twain.
I don't know if this is clear--since I have the books and you don't--but there are very few women writers in any of these books. Principal characters in the fiction pieces also tend to be male. I never noticed this back then, which is a blessing! I might have received a subliminal signal that “girls" don’t write. ;-)
My paternal grandfather gave me three beautiful books a couple of years before his death--which would have been when I was about fifteen. These three are still much beloved:
A collection of Rudyard Kipling’s "Stories and Poetry", featuring a richly-colored cover of two men on horseback chasing each other across a rugged terrain. This is the illustration for the poem “East is East, and West is West”. Which I like--except for the end. But, hey, it's Kipling.
I was enthralled before I opened the book. Wow, did I have trouble with the dialectical writing, though!
"The Complete Sherlock Holmes" This volume may have been published before authors began creating non-canonical stories. Does anyone know when the first Sherlock Holmes pastiche was written?
Six publishers had each printed multiple editions of Sherlock Holmes collections beginning in 1892. The volume my granddad gave me is copyright 1930, by Doubleday & Company, Inc.
Doyle created these illustrations for five different stories. In which story can each be found?
And that’s about it. I’m sure I had other books—well, like the complete run of Donald Duck comics (for the mysteries, I’ll have you know).
But these are the books that I treasured as a child and that I still treasure today. God bless all those who wrote them and who gave them to me.
What books are your treasures from your childhood or teen years? Please tell us about them!
How's that Sherlock Holmes quiz coming along?
Marooned (Narenta Tumult 1.5).
Read Chapter 1, here! It really is going to be published. Soon. I promise!