Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Little Book to Welcome Spring...

Spring brings with it all kinds of good and wonderful things.
Sunshine that actually warms a person.
Brighter skies.
Green shoots emerging from the ground,
the promise of a soft, lush meadow.
The tease of the early blooming daffodils
the beauty of the tulips, designed to take your breath away.
Soft showers, fresh breezes.
More time outside.
Baby animals, all frisky and playful, what fun to watch a baby calf run toward its mother ready to play in the soft pasture. At times like that, you just don't want to be a grown-up, you want to run and jump, and play and maybe fly a kite, too. As moms, we can do that when we've got little ones around. But I don't have little ones any longer and I still don't want to grow up, especially in spring!

This is a little book I picked up as part of a set that I bought from a former preschool teacher last summer. They were bagged carefully in a ziploc, a set of nine very well-used and much loved RAND-MCNALLY TINY TOT books, all originally 29 cents in paperback: for fifty cents. I had thought I might list them on eBay, as they are mostly from the early seventies. But I can't do it.

Hopefully, these photos show you why the kid in me won't allow me to let them go. Are they cute, or what? Nostalgia at its best. Vintage children's paperbacks just call out to me!
I can just picture a chubby little toddler hand holding onto mom, sitting on her lap while she read, and for the first several pages, very alert, studying the pictures carefully. Her chubby little fingers would point out the duck when mom asked "Where's the duck?"

Soon, the little one would have heavy, sleepy eyes, ready for a nap on her bed in the quiet mid-afternoon sunshine. I can remember the gentle feeling of motherly satisfaction that I felt when my little one was soothed with a story, sleepy and ready for a good, soft rest--covered with a blanket grandma made --all the way up to her little face.
Oh, the love I felt when I looked down on that sweet, sleeping face, listening to the breathing, watching those eyelashes resting on a fat little toddler cheek, wishing that I could freeze time just for that moment. It's love at its purest.
So enjoy your babies, grandbabies, all the little ones that you can hold on your lap for such a little while for that sleepy-time story. Savor the sunshine filtering through the lace curtain as it warms your shoulder.
Life really is beautiful. That's why for years, it's been captured by artists and storytellers to share their view of it with all of us through the gift of books (even 29 cent ones)!

Hope you enjoyed your peek into this little book! The pictures still captivate me, even though I'm a big kid now. (Maybe I should have been a children's librarian.)
Have a great day while we wait for spring to arrive! (At least we have sunshine today, and it's feeling a little more insistent than it has been!)
If you'd like, leave a comment to tell me which picture in this book is your favorite. After studying them, I kind of like the mouse, (probably because of the tiny wild strawberries)!


Donna said...

Oh, this is a post after my own heart! I love beautifully illustrated children's books and totally understand why you're having a hard time parting with them!... Donna @ An Enchanted Cottage

Donna said...

I forgot to say that it's so hard to choose a favorite... but if I had to, it would be the lamb... but they're all incredibly beatiful!... Donna @ An Enchanted Cottage

Anonymous said...

I also love sweet children's books and the illustrations. Thanks for sharing.

Zita - Mlle Magpie said...

I love that book! I think the illustrations would look lovely in old frames!

Patricia said...

Don't you love the illustrations in these old books? This one is so cute!

Anonymous said...

I love these books! SO colorful and sweet!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind comments, you are so sweet! I too love vintage children's books. I couldnt pick a favourite from the pics though because they are all so perfect and they do bring back memories for me too! Your writing is lovely by the way.

The Raggedy Girl said...

What a darling book and all the blogs with bunnys and Spring thought are making me begin to look forward to Spring.

Roberta Anne

Claudia said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I love the vintage illustrated children's books...the illustrations are so charming and take us back to a gentler time.

I am from Michigan originally, Dearborn. Your house is lovely.

Anne Marie said...

I just bought one today called 'The Jolly Farmhouse'...it's a golden and SO cute- my husband doesn't wear overalls ALL the time (lol) but it pretty much sums up our place!

Hey- you mentioned you were looking for a curtain style: well: SHOW ME!! and I'll be HAPPY to give you my ideas :)
What do you say "neighbor" (even though I'm not a stones throw, you ARE my virtual neighbor aren't you?)

Anne Marie

Anonymous said...

I remember this book from my childhood.

aimee said...

Cute book--brings back memories of a simpler, more innocent time. I'd choose the wooly lamb that bounces like a popcorn ball or baby goat with head as hard as a coconut.
Sorry, I can’t choose the field mouse, although I love berries... I've been too traumatized by 'his' relatives scampering through our country home instead of the hay:) Blessings, a

Mama of 4 Blessings said...

The animals are so adorable in this book! My youngest enjoyed the story before school. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Gina Jo

Anonymous said...

I just found you from Donna's at An Enchanted Cottage! I love your posts--thanks for having such a great blog.

Those books are a wonderful find--I wouldn't be able to part with them either. In fact, I just picked up two very vintage children's books at our local thrift store--for me to read to my 3 yr old gr. girl and for me to read to ME! I have all of the books from my own two kiddo's wee days and I read them to her. It does bring such joy (all over again) to have her cuddle and hang on every word (she hangs on MOST of the time!).

Keep up your wonderful blogging work! Dana

Jean Tuthill said...

I have stacks of vintage Golden Books and like you, I love the illustrations and the stories. I just found your blog and I like it very much, I'll be back.

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

Hi all! Thanks so much for your comments on my little book. I will show you the others sometime soon...they're all just as endearing as this one. Zita, your idea about framing these as prints is a good one, I should look for the proper frame, I could line my whole stairway and hall upstairs with the happy children's books I've collected! (We just painted all of the landing and stairway, so I've been thinking of something to decorate with and that's the perfect suggestion!) Have a great day all!

Anonymous said...

I'd have to say I like the picture of the little lamb best. Because my name is Mary, I had a sweet riding lamb that looked like it when I was little. It was one a toddler would ride with a wooden dowel through the neck for my chubby little hands to hold as I pushed it with my feet. Remember that, Joni?
Loved the idea of framing these prints. I've done that with pictures from the old book "Blueberries For Sal" which is one of my favorites from childhood. These framed pictures are hanging in my kitchen. I just love to use pictures from books as art instead of buying an unimaginative mass-produced picture to hang. Sometime you'll have to show a post of your Audubon Society prints framed in barnwood. They're very handsome too!