Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Hmmm. I swore I would never blog, but here I am in this brave new world. The truth is I couldn’t think of a better way to share the books my kids and I love with all of my friends. A list of titles and authors would hardly do because sometimes you have to feel and smell a good book. Madeleine once said, “I love books with worn covers. They just feel good in your hands.”

Ahh, that’s my girl.

So here at least is a peek into our bookshelves, piled high and sagging as they are.

The Summerfolk 
Doris Burn- 1968

I’m starting this venture off with one of my more recent finds, plucked from the disorganized shelves of the Thrift store on Main street in Lansdale. It’s a funny place, that thrift store. Antiques mixed with junk, clothes, furniture, tables of glassware. The prices are pretty good (books for 50 cents) but it’s a mess so you have to be in a searching mood. Luckily that’s the kind of treasure hunting I like best.

I had never heard of Summerfolk by Doris Burn and I hesitated because the pages smelled pretty musty. But when I flipped through and saw Fedderly I knew it was coming home with us. Just the perfect sort of book to usher in our coming summer, full of picnics, tree houses, and sprees.

The flotilla pulled away from the tules into the open water with Fedderly doing most of the work, if not all of it. But he didn't seem to mind. He scrambled to the crows's nest, took a reading from his compass, and set a course for north-northeast.

Willy had never seen the like of the two summerfolk Cork and Spinner. And as for the Green Alder Mansions! Well, there were trapezes and tree houses, climbing vines and bouncing nets. There was a swing that swung from the deep woods into the sunlight umpteen feet up over the swamp.

The story is about a boy Willy and his father who live on an island and are annoyed by the “summer folk”. Then one day, on the summer solstice (which as everyone knows is when most magical things happen) Willy meets a new kind of summer folk. One who suggests a flotilla of their boats, picnics with a girl named Rosebud, a sport and frolic in Spinner and Cork’s treehouse, and spooky tale telling. The black ink drawings are perfect and the feel is of course summer magical.


  1. Well Katie, I have little to say. I popped my eyes back into their sockets and am now going to try to figure out how to put your blog onto the list of blogs to follow. I have to relearn every time. I love this, of course. Not that I do not also love (even more) receiving a review AND book by mail, but I suppose I will be able to gather more this way. Poor poor Walter.

  2. Thank you so much! I had never even heard of this, and now I know I must have it! A charming story with beautiful illustrations! What a score.

  3. I am thrilled about your blog venture. What a wonderful idea!