Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Understood Betsy and old Golden Books...
I don't know what is happening to me, but I've got the desire to read children's literature. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I never read books as a child, except for the few books that I was compelled to read in school, and even those were read half-heartedly? While teaching my children at home, I became obsessed with children's literature, and the kids and I gulped down lots of wonderful books that have become real treasures to us. Now that all but one of our kids is gone, I have the urge to read some of those favorite books again and to pick up some of the books we never did get to. Understood Betsy is one those books that we didn't read, but I sure did enjoy it on my own. I'd love to read it aloud one day to my grandchildren or hand it off to my daughter and daughter-in-love for a quick, sweet read. I see by the reviews that there are revised editions of Understood Betsy, so if you choose to read it, look for the original by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.
Elizabeth Ann, an orphan in her babyhood, was snatched up by her Aunt Frances to be raised up properly with a good education, piano lessons, a healthy dose genuine love and over-protection, along with a fear of big dogs. When Aunt Frances realized she would have to care for her sick mother and take her south for her health, it was decided that the only choice for Elizabeth Ann was to send her to the dreaded Putney Farm where the cousins did chores and got dirty. Certainly not the best conditions for a 9 year old girl, according to Aunt Frances, but it was their only choice, and what a happy choice it turned out to be.
Elizabeth Ann was immediately "Betsy" when she arrived at the train station and met Uncle Henry. After her things were loaded into the wagon, Uncle Henry handed the reins over to Betsy while he did some "figuring" in his notebook and committed the remainder of the drive to Putney Farm to her with the instructions, "If you want the horses to go left, pull the left rein. If you want them to go right, pull on the right rein." What a ride it was, and it was only the beginning of the many life lessons Betsy would learn from Uncle Henry, Aunt Abigail, Aunt Ann, and even old Shep.
Don't miss this sweet story.
For my Grandma's Library, I just received a treasury in the mail. A Golden Book collection of Farm Tales. If you are my age, you probably remember the little Golden Books that we loved to read as children and some of them we bought for our own children. Oh, the adorable pictures! Oh the sweet stories!
The Shy Little Kitten
The Animals of Farmer Jones
Baby Farm Animals
The Little Red Hen
The Jolly Barnyard
....just to name a few.
They just don't make children's animal books like they used to when the illustrations reflected the actual colors and shapes of the animals. I bought my book second-hand, but I see that Amazon carries a newer version of Farm Tales, minus The Little Red Hen as told by a reviewer. I can't wait to sit with lil Hazel Peach and flip through the stories with her.
I have another favorite book treasury to share, but it must wait until after Valentine's Day. It's meant to be a gift for my grandgirl. Not that she reads my blog at 18 months, but her mommy might! ~wink~