I've often heard children say, "There's nothing to do today". I beg to differ. I'd like to inspire you to do something. Anything. Read. Bake. Hike. Fish. Plant. Sail. Climb. Play. Reach. Move. Laugh. Dream; and take time to sit with me on The Old Granite Step.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Consignment Finds - Vintage Children's Books

I love books.  All kinds.  Poetry, Literature, Fiction, Non-Fiction; it doesn't matter.  There's something so peaceful about sitting in a bookstore and flipping through my next purchase.  A bookstore selling vintage books is absolutely wonderful!  I have a few favorites throughout New England; several are in city basement locations and while the hustle and bustle continues on the sidewalk outside the shop, inside is a warm, quiet mecca of books gone by.  I love it when I stumble upon a shop I've never been in before.  Of course, many people sell their books at tag sales.  For a dollar, I can often walk away with an armful of books; some bring back memories of my childhood and some contain wonderful artwork worthy of framing.  I encourage you to look for these; keep your find for yourself or give it as a gift!
Hide and Seek Fog is one of my most cherished finds.  The illustrations are beautiful; simple yet colorful and imaginative pictures.  The copyright is 1965 and the edition I have happens to be the Weekly Reader Book Club Edition.  Remember the book fairs that came to the school when we were kids?  Check with your local schools; book fairs still exist and in many cases, the public is encouraged to attend.
 The blues in this picture are captivating.  A child is sure to be drawn in to the story almost immediately.
 The illustrator has captured the tone of this seaside town perfectly in this picture.
A simple yet wonderful story.  Can't you just close your eyes and picture your bathing suit hanging outside to dry when you were a child?
I happen to love cats just as I love books so this illustration caught my eye immediate.  I did indeed "judge this book by it's cover" but it was well worth it.
 The copyright is 1939; towards the end of the Great Depression but before WWII.  
 Blacky's illustrations are simple, yet very telling for the small child.
The Blue Mittens is 153 pages long.  With a 1935 copyright, it shares the story of Kate with us and the journey that she takes during a one year period.  At the end of the book, the family moves to "Town". 
 The country house that Kate lived in.
 Simple and beautiful pen and ink drawings.

This is a truly wonderful story and I encourage you to try to find a copy of The Blue Mittens.
Celia Thaxter grew up in the Isles of Shoals, off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine.  Celia is probably best known for her book "An Island Garden", referring to the place she loved on Appledore Island.  Her father was the light keeper on White Island for a time.  This is the delightful story of life on the islands and tells of ghosts and storms!
Again, simple pen and ink illustrations are all that's needed to draw the reader in to the story.

Tim and Lucy Go to Sea has a copyright of 1958.  It doesn't have a flashy cover; one of the reasons you really need to explore a book that at first glance may not look very exciting. 
Containing both black and white, and colorful images, this book is a terrific story about an exciting and memorable boat ride.

Perhaps the little boys' outfit will give you a clue as to where this lovely story takes place.  A portion of Flanders borders the North Sea. 
 The copyright of this book is 1926.
The drawings in this book are a bit more precise.  Illustrator Frances Brundage may best be known for her colorful vintage Valentines. 
Snowflake, first published in 1952 tells the heartwarming story of the life of a snowflake.  A tiny, but wonderful adventure.
There aren't many illustrations in the book but the authors descriptive writing is all you need to "see" this story unfold.

These early primers just make me smile.  Comprised of delightful stories, these were often found on elementary school shelves.

 These books taught us compound words like "snowman".
Snow and steam shovels; most of these stories were written in the 40's but we've seen our fair share of snow and steam shovels this winter as well!
Did you know that the Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded every year and recognizes "distinguished illustration in a book for children?"  The illustrations in this book are lovely and depict simple and charming childhood stories.

 Remember when it felt so good to jump and twirl as a child?
 A Kate Greenaway book is a wonderful gift for a new parent!

Be sure to add a children's book or two to your collection.

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