Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Tall Book of Make-Believe

 The Tall Book of Make-Believe ( Make Believe )
Harper & Row publishers 1950

There are some childhood books that are warm and comfortably familiar. Something about them is tender and nostalgic and almost unexpectedly magical. This was my book when I was a little girl and I remember my mom reading it to me. Even the cover (which lost it’s spine years ago) is like a cozy old friend.

It opens with a Walter de la Mere poem “Somewhere” and has verse from Katherine Masefield, Eugene Field, Stevenson, Lear, and Christina Rossetti. Tennyson's "The Mermaid" has a page with a terrific illustration. There are a few stories about a bad mouse, an ever growing lollipop, some naughty children , a little girl named Susan and some bears (that one being the best) and a fanciful yarn by Carl Sandburg.

My mom doesn’t care much for poetry which is funny because that is what my earliest remembrances are of her reading to me.
"Wynken Blynken and Nod" is one of my favorite childhood poems (one that led me to collecting the complete works of Eugene Field). Field’s poems are often in collections for kids but this is the picture that I’ve always associated with it since I was at least 4 years old.

And this picture that I used to dream about (who wouldn't?!)


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