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.