Tuesday, November 13, 2007

just between you and me here

Oh, look another post about books. I waited a whole week. That's called self-control!

I'm a little worried that if I talk up these books too much they'll become all the rage and I'll have lousier luck finding them in thrift stores. I've been collecting them since 2000 and I have about 30 now, not a full collection but close. Little softback picture books published by The Medici Society in London, from the late sixties to the early eighties. Most of them are stories of woodland animals. The first title I acquired was a garage sale find and I was taken by the illustrations. My girl was the sort of precocious listener who, at two, wanted to hear anything I would read to her, but especially stories about personified animals. She was never into dolls at all but she's always been all about animals. She loved it so much and we read it so often that I started keeping my eyes out for more. They've come into our lives slowly, one at a time. I confess to having paid several dollars for a couple of them on ebay, but nearly all of them have been of the $.49 goodwill variety. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that I have yet to see them mentioned anywhere else ever. Especially with the big crafty creative movement currently happening, with much attention given to woodland critters with a definite anthropomorphic bent, how can I be the only one who collects these?? How? I admit it's shallow of me to take some sick pleasure in having this thing I like that appears to be my own special thing. I'm like that about a number of things (though, I suspect, everyone is, to some degree). Example: I have a deep concern that disney will release an animated viking mythology flick and suddenly my daughter's name (classic but not much used) will grace happy meal figures. The horror! So blabbing about my secret book collection to the whole world here (or rather, to you, my dear audience of three) seems a wee bit risky. Make no mistake, I don't just look for them because they're cute and uncommon, they're also well written, solid stories - fun to read aloud and guaranteed to introduce obsolete British vocabulary into your child's familiar lexicon. And I'm not really keeping a secret; I do, indeed, talk them up in person and if you've been in my house, I've probably made you look at them with me. I just don't want to see them fetching high dollars on fancy websites or hear about someone else discovering them and getting all the credit. You heard it here first. If you run across one, buy it and keep it if you like it (who isn't charmed by rabbits wearing sweates and drinking tea and playing conkers?) and if you don't, send it to me. They call that a winning situation!

the surprising armchair

the party that grew

midget and the pet shop

just wilberforce

the runaway fairy

goodnight time tales


Lisa said...

Those are charming. I've never seen them. On a different book note, we got Maggie B. from the library and Isabel loved it.

full pockets said...

have i ever told you that 'dory' was on our list of favored names when i was pregnant with clara? of course we never truly considered it because the naming of clara was important on other levels, but dory was one of my favorites. named for a boat, small and sure. i had her pictured in my mind, this little dory l. i am the same as you in wanting these things for my very own and you can imagine my relief and some measure of irony when ellen degeneres' nemo character appeared.

midgettroyani said...

Maybe those things we most want come to us! (is that magical thinking?)

I desire the Ruth Chew, and I have the best Ruth Chew luck. You desire these gems, and there they are! I never used to look at the smallish paperbacks at Goodwill, but now I always do, hoping to find these for you. So far, not a one. And you? Any luck w/ the Chew?