Thursday, March 5, 2009

Books!

The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived. ~Howard Pyle

Having already shared so much about music as inspiration, and this being a slow week eBay and Etsy-wise (busily working on commissions!) I thought I'd share a few books which spark the imagination. :)

As a child, I was (and still am) a voracious reader. Friends and siblings would be outside in the street playing kick the can, and I'd be curled up in a beanbag chair in my room with a book, thinking these adventures far more exciting than running bases or riding bikes. I'd savor every word, picturing every scene better and far more vividly than any movie....and to this day, I will not, will not, will NOT see the movie until I've first read the book.

The Harry Potter movies? Good, but no comparison to the books. Poe? Entertaining stuff in old movies, but give me the stories any time. And don't even get me started on cartoon versions of fairy tales (although I do love Disney animation).

I've loved books for as long as I can remember, and as Easter and springtime approach, there are a couple of children's books that never fail to inspire.....

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, by DuBose Heyward. Amazing, amazing tale, and with it's feminist message, hard to believe it was first published in 1939. Basically, the Country Bunny, despite being a single Mother and responsible for twenty one children, bests all the male bunnies in swiftness, cleverness and kindness to become the next Easter Bunny. As my now 27 year old daughter (who also deeply loved this book as a child) would say, *Huzzah*!

The Velveteen Rabbit, or How Toys Become Real, by Margery Williams. Here's my favorite part, when the Velveteen Rabbit asks the Skin Horse in the little boy's nursery how it is that certain toys become Real:

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

And Fairy Tales! Can't forget Fairy Tales.....


These are copies of Grimms and Anderson fairy tales from my bookshelf, published in MCMXLV, which if memory serves (been awhile since I figured out Roman numerals - do they even teach that anymore?) is 1945. They were gift from a great aunt many, many years ago and I treasure them. These are not the sanitized fairy tales children hear today, though....These can get a little gruesome....

In the final page of "Cinderella", for example, after she marries the handsome prince, the birds swoop down from the sky, pecking out the eyes of the evil stepsisters.

And the evil queen in "Snow White"? She dances in red hot iron shoes until she falls down dead. Yikes! Some pretty vivid imagery there...

No clue which of these - or perhaps others - will make it's way into the work the next few weeks (along with more Halloween goodies, of course!) but stay tuned. :)

In the meantime, what books sparked your imagination as a child? What books get your creative juices flowing now? Any favorites? Any new discoveries?

Inquiring minds want to know....

Until next time,
~ Carolee

10 comments:

Tess said...

Oh I loved reading books too. Anything with a native american theme was a must read for me. And I was into mystery books such as Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys series. As for my younger years, I loved Thumbelina and also Little Bear. :-)

Kathleen Coy said...

'The Golden Bunny, and 17 Other Stories and Poems' (all were about rabbits!) was a favorite of mine. I also loved the Velveteen Rabbit, and all the Little House on the Prairie books.

This brings up great memories of reading away the afternoon when I was a kid...

*retro-rudolphs* said...

As a child it was probably "Peter Rabbit" and Goldilocks and the Three Bears", but the books I remember the most are "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Catcher in the Rye", I re-read Catcher in the Rye a while ago... still a fave of mine.

Here's another tidbit for you Carolee ~ Bailey got his nickname "BOO" because of the Boo Radley character in TKAM.

Lori

Beehive Cottage said...

I love these books! I had completely forgotten about "The Country Bunny". I still have a "Peter Rabbit" book (a little worse for wear) from over 50 years ago. It's very special to me because my dear (practical & non-reader) Mom gave away my children's books when I graduated from high school. However, I have a friend who sells used books & she has been hunting down some of my favorites...Little Golden Books & Wonder Books. I am having the most wonderful warm fuzzy feelings right now. Thanks!

Leah's Art Magic said...

When I was a kid I use to read "The Mother Goose" poems. I loved the illustrations. I also remember reading, Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales. Fables and Ghost stories too.
Ahhh, to escape into a imaginary world.....

Micki said...

You are a woman after my own heart, I love books, especially old ones,I have quite a collection and also have an old book of hans andersen's fairy tales, there is no date on my book anywhere and I would love to know when it was published.
Along with those I also have a 1915copy of gullivers travels (love it)black beauty and tom sawyer are my favourites and also anne of green gables is probably my all time favourite book!

Susan said...

Some of my favorites were "Flicka, Ricka and Dicka" and "Snipp, Snapp and Snurr by Maj Lindman and the many colored fairy books by Andrew Lang.My absolute favorites were the "Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Now it's anything by Stephen King. I love a good scare and no one can come through like him!!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

I will so be watching to see how you include the fairy tales into your work. Velveteen Rabbit has been a favorite in this house for as long as I've had kids. Now I have to go upstairs to the library area and dig out some of those books...happiness!
♥, Susan

artbyakiko said...

I love all children's books with beautiful illustrations even to this day. My mom used to read Grimms fairy tales to me. Loved them so much!

LYNDY WARD said...

Hi Carolee, great post...

My favorite childhood books were & still are Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Wizard Of Oz, Little Women, Nancy Drew, Black Beauty, Treasure Island, The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Cinderella, Peter Pan & so many more...

My favorite Nursery books were Mother Goose, Goldilocks & The Three Bears, Peter Rabbit,The Nursery Darling by Lewis Carroll & any & all poems.

Happy Early Lucky Saint Patty's Day!

~ Best Witches & Haunted Hugs ~

XOXOs, Lyndy

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