Tuesday, March 21, 2006

30 year nostalgia

I have a confession to make.

I could give a rat's ass about birthdays. Seriously. And having a March birthday my whole life only has cemented my general humdrum attitude about them. It's damn cold up here in New England in March. And I'm usually sick.

But I'm not sick today. I just have a big honkin' zit. And that seems to be better than usual.

N woke me up at 2 AM to sing Happy Birthday and give me a Disney (no joke) card and tulips. It was sweet. Odd timing, to be sure. But tulips are some of my favorite flowers, so it was a much appreciated gesture.

Because that's the thing about birthdays. I really could care less about them, BUT I want everyone else to think that my birthday is like the most important day of the year. This is totally reasonable, right?

And while I'm at it, I really think it should be a federal law that all people get a paid holiday on their birthday.

So, since I'm stuck at work anyway, I thought maybe birthday time would be the perfect time to share with you my favorite old childhood books, since I get all remininscy around birthdays anyway. The books that almost make me tear-up just seeing the cover. The books that I would make my mom read over and over and over.

I was always a sucker for books like this:

Especially when they had pages like this at the beginning:

I loved Mr. Wiggins, even though he's pretty politically incorrect.

And I always wanted to know why Kim couldn't get two puppies for the two kittens. Especially since they were the cutest ones.

I hated Millicent May. She's a brat who did not deserve a kitten.

And I always wanted this to be the last page:

Because I thought that this one was gratuitous (thought I didn't know that word) and insulted my intelligence:

This books made me want a menagerie on a nightly basis. I lost my copy, but then found this one at a yard sale years later. I was so completely over joyed.

For the longest time, I never knew that this wasn't the Corduroy book:

That's a picture of my own frail copy. The pages slip through your fingers when you pick it up and it still smells of childhood. I always thought it was a little weird that a dryer would give an artist such enthusiastic inspiration. Had he never done laundry before?

This page always made me yearn for winter:

And this one would nearly make me cry (I was an emotional one, ok? Yeah...was....we're going with WAS today.)

And who doesn't love:

But to be honest, this scared me:This freaked me out:And this insulted my intelligence (again....I'm so smart you see.)

But Mr. Rey made up for it all with this:I considered this turn in the story to be valuable information on life skills and thought I would definitely try to utilize this option when thrown into jail. (And I liked the cat on the prison roof because you can't have a prison without a cat on the roof.)

I love all Francis books, and listened to my record of a Bargain for Frances over and over again. This is another that's falling apart from being carried around with me forever:

I love this book more than I can tell you and have tunes for singing all of Francis' songs. I thought running away to under the dining room table was brilliant and comforting and set up camp underneath our own on several occasions:

This book was a constant favorite, and I always felt like it was a special treat when I would get my mom to read it to me:

I loved how Harold could just create his own world:He could draw himself a journey:

And complete change during it. You all have no idea how I would long for that magical purple crayon:

But the thing I found most comforting was that he could return home, feeling warm and cozy whenever he wanted to:

This book is a book that I had totally forgotten. Somehow it must've been lost among my parent's moves. One warm day I was sorting through a stack of books at a yard sale, trying to find something good and new for Little A. What I found was this:I cannot even tell you how the sight of this cover transported me backwards in time. I couldn't even open it at first. I just sat on the grass, completely transfixed as all the feelings this book gave me washed over me. The vision of the tiny house made me feel safe, like the walls were built by guardian angels.

When the little house gets over run by the city, I felt like I was the little house, always getting buried in other people's plans. And when they move the house:

I felt so scared for the little house. I didn't want it to be alone. But I also loved the idea of taking your home with you. And after this book came into my life, I would daydream of taking our house with us everytime we would be getting ready to move. Having some sort of safety net and a place where everything was just as it should be.

I could've spent hours looking into that picture.


Blogger SO said...

Oh V! What a great post!! You definitely took me back in time and now I wish I would of kept some of my favorite books. I did save them for my future children, but when I got married and moved into our house, I had them packed in the basement and they got ruined!! Great post!! And again, Happy Happy B-day!!!!

11:50 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Happy Birthday, first of all.

Next - WOW. This was such a fabulous post! You transported me down memory lane with you and reminded me of books I had long since forgotten, like the Little House! I totally remember that last picture.

Thank you!

12:51 PM  
Blogger JayneSays said...

Happy Birthday!!! Loved the post. Made me want to pull out my childhood books. My favorite was Scuppers the Sailor Dog, and then we named our dog Scuppers.

(and now I need to change my avatar after Chris' ` too funny) so are you a Pisces or an Aries? I hope you have a lovely day.

2:37 PM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

Happy Birthday!

I love this post...love it...I had all but forgotten about Francis. Wow. What a timewarp.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous stella said...

holy crap.

a pocket for corduroy. AND the The Little House.

holy crap. i had completely forgotten about The Little House. I LOVED THAT BOOK.

almost as much as I loved the one about the two birds that had to move their nest???

i can't remember what it was called.

and The Velveteen Rabbit....

AND my favorite...of all times....

now, im gonna have to go to my blog and post about it.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous stella said...

ok scratch that.

ill just tell you.

my FAVORITE book was...

Are You My Mother?


go figure...

3:58 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

Happy Birthday!! ((Because it IS a big deal))

My favorite book growing up was, "Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs." I look forward to reading it to my tiny tots one day.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

One of the reasons I decided to work with children was so I could read to them.

But there is Nothing - nothing more wonderful than reading with a parent.

What a wonderful post, and a very happy birthday.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

Thank you for giving US a present on your birthday. This was a lovely post.

Happy Birthday to you!

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Happy Birthday -- a day late! (sorry, I'm sooo behind in my blog reading!)

I loved this post. I think I'm going to have to blog about some of my childhood favorite books too. Thanks for sharing -- now I have some new (old) books to look for!

10:26 AM  
Blogger Iamadesigner said...

Happy birthday-a little belated. Thanks for sharing the books. I have a few that I've hung on to throughout the years that I still enjoy flipping through. Especially on a day like my birthday when I'm feeling like daydreaming about the past.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

I love the way books can transport us not only to the world they describe but to a place in our lives.

The Frances books rock my world. They were written so long ago and yet are timeless. I love the relationship between Frances and her parents--it's so authentic.

5:12 AM  
Blogger V said...

Thanks for all the Birthday wishes. It happened....I'm 30....and still alive. So things must be ok! :)

1:45 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Great books! Happy (belated) Birthday V. I loooove tulips as well, but always get almost-dying roses from my husband. Poor me, huh? Yeah, didn't think so.

The Curious George with balloons picture always pisses off my daughter too. Insulting.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

I loved those pics! And I wish for you a large basket of kittens.

2:40 AM  
Anonymous krista said...

we read alot of kids books in my house, and I had not heard of these ones. I am especially interested in that purple crayon business!!

Thanks for scanning in all these pics. This was a fun post to read.

Stella mentioned Are you My Mother? I just had to say, that is my fave too.

2:51 AM  

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