Fred Cody 1980
illustrations by Arthur Boyd Houghton
The pictures are also notable for the way the artist has entered wholeheartedly into the world of childhood. The children are seen at play, but their activity is portrayed on their own terms; they are unselfconsciously absorbed in a realm apart. The pattern for such a separate state of childhood took form in the latter half of the nineteenth century, though only among families of means. It is the way, of course, that we are accustomed to seeing children in our own time.
The book opens with this:
Often, now that I am older and have children of my own, I take up the pictures you will see here and talk of the story they tell. And always they carry me back to a long-ago summer, which my sister Beth and I came to call our make-believe summer. I suppose I think of it in that way because it was a time between the end of one chapter in our lives and the beginning of another. It was a summer so full of wonder, of fear and strangeness, that it seems to have been not quite real- a kind of dream of fantasy.