Wednesday, July 2, 2008

CHILDHOOD BOOKS

Jean-Honoré Fragonard painting.





The other day I was thinking about the books I read as a child. I remember my favorite book was The Boxcar Children. This novel tells the story of four orphaned children who run away from their grandfather and start a new life of independence in an abandoned boxcar. For some reason, that totally fascinated me.

Upon the death of their mother and father, their grandfather assumes custody of the children, but they run away because they believe him to be cruel. Finding an abandoned boxcar, they start a new life of independence. A man named Dr. Moore, who lives in a nearby city, hires Henry to do jobs around his home, such as mowing the lawn and organizing his garage. With the help of Henry's income and living off the land, the children are able to take care of themselves until Violet becomes ill and they must go to Dr. Moore for assistance. This is when they meet their Grandfather and all ends well.

There were a lot of mysteries in this series and probably the reason I loved them. I graduated to Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. Then I discovered Agatha Christie. I still reread these whenever I find them. Of course I don't tell anyone, they would think I was nuts. A grown woman reading a children's book! I had a good excuse for a while though. I sold books on eBay for a few years and grabbed up every one of these I could find. I would read them first and then sell them. : )

The most requested books from my buyers, were the beautifully illustrated ones, Beatrix Potter, Kate Greenaway and anything with Tasha Tudor illustrations... Tasha touched my heart not only for her lovely art work but her lifestyle. She chose to live a simple life without the baggage of material things that can tie you down..she chose to dress mostly in 1800's style attire and to carry on her life in a simple manner without a whole lot of what we call "modern convenience". She loved plants and animals. They inspired and nurtured her. She died in June of this year at the age of 92. Her beautiful pictures will live after her, thrilling children and grown ups alike for years to come.

6 comments:

Book said...

One of my favourites was Enid Blyton's 'Magic Faraway Tree' books. Bayard have nice collection of books to suit ages 3 - 5, 6 - 9 and 10 - 12 respectively : StoryBoxBooks, AdventureBoxBooks, DiscoveryBoxBooks

CurtissAnn said...

I do not recall the 'Boxcar Children' books from my own childhood, although many have said that. I recall reading them to my son-- they were still favorites of the young some 25 years ago.

I, too, read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, and today I read Agatha Christie, mostly at night before bed.

smilnsigh said...

Another lovely entry! I'm so glad I found your blog!

It's so neat that a book about independence fascinated you as a child. Hope you found your own version of independence.

Why not read children's book? Phooie on anyone who says differently. So there! They can be precious. And who doesn't need some respite, in today's world?

Yes, I too loved Tasha and was sorry to hear of her passing. Sorry for us, who loved her. Not sorry for her. She lived her life, on her own terms and I think she was totally wonderful!

A lovely blogger has said that there might be a blog-wide day to remember Tasha, on her Birthday. If it materializes, I'll want to join in and will post about it, ahead of time. Hope you may want to, also.

Mari-Nanci
Smilnsigh blog

Julie said...

OMG! I, too, love to re-read my childhood favs!

I loved "Just So Stories", by Rudyard Kipling, and I have a leather bound old fashioned copy!

...and all of the books for middle school aged kids by E.L.Konigsburg, especially:

"From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler",
"The View From Saturday", and
"Journey to an 800 Number".

Her books are similar in nature to children travelling and learning from their experiences...

Thanks for reminding me, and now realizing that there are other adults out there that enjoy this activity...I'm not alone!!!

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