Fond Childhood memories… Part 1

The 16th entry in a series of “Friday Forgotten Books”

When it was suggested we Friday Forgotten Book participants do a post on a favorite book from our own childhood, I thought it was a great idea. Still, there were problems: How could I pick just one?  What did “favorite book from our childhood” mean, what age range is that? Should I pick a little kid book? A mid-childhood book? An almost-teenager book? A picture book, adventure book, a classic? I’m sure you see the problem.

One more thing was could I find the book in question so I could scan the cover? I thought of two books, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton, 1939, and Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater, illustrated by Robert Lawson, 1938. Though I liked them them and remember them fondly now, they are long gone. Another, The Invisible Island by Dean Marshall, 1948 is packed away and pretty much out of reach without a major effort, though I did find a fair picture of the book.

After much additional thought I decided to do more than one book. Actually, a pair of books. PLUS I’ll do another book next Friday – an adventure story. But for today:

Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A. Milne, © 1926, renewed 1954, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne, © 1928, renewed 1954, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard

I loved these book when they were read to me when I was little, when I was a newish reader, and later as an adult. I still love them, and re-read them every few years, now that I’m an old graybeard. Pooh, Piglet, Eyore, Owl and of course Christopher Robin. Wonderful three-dimensional characters in delightful stories.

What you see here are my current copies, dust jackets intact, bought in 1960 as replacements to my beloved but worn-out and tattered ones. For anyone who doesn’t know it – and how could that be? – the Disney versions of Winnie the Pooh bears (pun intended) little resemblance to the genuine article. Whereas the animated versions are cute, these originals are charming.

Ernest Shepard, one of America’s finest illustrators, wonderfully depicts the characters’ moods, environment and the circumstances in which they find themselves. The writing in these books is wonderful, both for reading aloud and for enjoying while curled up in a cozy nook.

Also I must mention the two other books Milne wrote for children, When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six.

Series organizer Patti Abbott hosts more FFB reviews at her own blog,
along with a complete list of today’s participating blogs.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Friday Forgotten Book, Review and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Fond Childhood memories… Part 1

  1. Patti Abbott says:

    What a lovely tribute. My first serious boyfriend was called Pooh, due to his love of these books. I wonder if the name still sticks.

  2. Richard says:

    Thanks, Patti. These really are great books, and I hope they are still being read to and by children now.

  3. Evan Lewis says:

    Somehow Pooh was never on my radar. Now if only he’d worn a cowboy hat…

  4. Evan Lewis says:

    …or is Pooh a her?

  5. Richard says:

    No, no, Pooh is a he. I was never sure about the gender of Piglet, but it didn’t matter, in the stories or to me.

  6. Jeff Meyerson says:

    It’s amazing to me that I never read this (or had it read to me) as a kid.

  7. Richard says:

    Wow. I was worried these wouldn’t be “forgotten” enough, but several people have said they never experienced them.

    The other book I’d thought of doing was WIND IN THE WILLOWS, (Shepard illustrated the original of that one, too) which no one else did. I wonder if it’s been forgotten as well?

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