Friday, April 06, 2012


 Front and back covers of my 1945 copyright edition of  Heidi by Joanna Spyri

The Once-Upon-a-Time Bedroom of YoungestSon has recently become the dumping grounds of a large bookcase, books, dishes, and other odds and ends while the renovation of our kitchen happened back in January.  It has taken me some time to get back to it with lambing and calving following up the reno, but I've been working in my new space little by little.  I repainted the swimming pool blue and gray walls and gave them a neutral macadamia color which is a very quiet, calming color to me.  The big bookcase found its new home on one wall and my sewing machine and other things are gradually finding their places in the new space.  There is still much organizing to do, but amidst the book weeding, I found my especial copy of Heidi.  My mom gave it to me many years ago when she learned we were homeschooling the kids.  It was probably the only book she saved from her childhood.  In fact, the book was given to her by her mother's best friend in 1948 when my mom was just five years old.  Mom gave me the book, complete with her signature, in 1988.

The front and back covers of my Heidi look hand-painted.  I'm sure they are not, but it is the most charming cover I think I have ever seen on a childrens book.  I love the story and have fond memories of reading it aloud to my Littles.  My mom once told me that she thought of naming me Heidi because of the character in this book.  It's fun just knowing that she thought about it.

This charming book is illustrated.  There are a very few colored pictures scattered within the book.  Each individual page has a small picture in the top corners relevant to what is written.  Other pages have black and white illustrations like the lambs below.

This is one of those books that I hope to read aloud with the grandchildren when they are visiting me.  I've kept a number of family favorites in the big bookcase so when the Grandlittles come a'visiting, they can choose wonderful stories to read -- imagining faraway places, knowing interesting people, dreaming big dreams and hoping big hopes. 

Do you have a favorite book from your childhood?  I don't.  In our home, we didn't read, but I am so grateful that my children have lots of favorite books they remember.  Please share your favorites.  Are you saving special books for your grandchildren-to-be?  Please share those too.


  1. I have two favorite books from my childhood, Charlotte's Web and The Island of the Blue Dolphins. They are the only two that survived our many moves. I like the thought of reading Charlotte's Web to my grandchildren very much!


  2. I have very old copies of Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Black Beauty- my late fathers Sunday School Prizes from the 1930s. Treasured books which hold many memories.

    They were read to me as a child in the 60s, I read them to my own children in the 80s, and maybe one day...

    Easter Blessings x

  3. We recently read Enid Blyton's the magic Faraway Tree to the suns and just today they asked could they read it again. It was my favourite Blyton, well, that and the one about the magic rocking chair! I did read Alice in Wonderland to them last year and it was such a committed bind to get through. Not at all accessible, I thought, and indeed wondered how accessible it could have been to Victorian children? I have just finished my own for me reading of Pom Pom's Wind in the Willows and it was a DELIGHT!

  4. I have a lot of children's books and, like you, I hope for the chance to read them to my future grandchildren. Heidi was also one of my favorites, as well as A Little Princess and They Loved to Laugh. My sister is now the librarian at our old elementary school, and she gave me the exact copy of They Loved to Laugh that we had read over and over:)

  5. What a beautiful copy of Heidi! A treasure! We recently started re-reading Edith Nesbit's books again. We finished The Railway Children and are almost through Five Children and It and next will be The Enchanted Castle. Her books are always a delight.

  6. What a beautiful and special book. I have a picture book from the Golden Book series that was/is my favorite. It's called The Tiny Tawny Kitten. I also loved the Richard Scary books and anything illustrated by Eloise Wilkins.

    I'm sure your grandchildren will especially enjoy having you read to them!


  7. Oh my gosh, I have that copy of Heidi too. I have sat and stared at those pictures for years. You know the one you showed with the grandpa?
    Long before I could read, I looked at those pictures.
    It sounds all so nice. I loved Heidi too.

  8. Loved Heidi, too!!!! I was smitten with the loft sleeping area...
    Also loved Charlotte's Web after my third grade teacher read it aloud to the class. I was so sad when the story ended...I always hate it when a story ends.

  9. So many favorites...Little Women, Heidi, Charlotte's web and My Mom saved her Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew series books from the 40's for us. I loved them all and have saved my favorites for my Grandchildren. What a sweet post Jodi.

  10. I have my aunt's copies of Nancy Drew from the 1940's - blue cover. I collected Nancy Drew when I was younger and all mine still.

  11. My mother sat in a yellow upholstered chair, my sister in I tucked in bed, and read Winnie the Pooh. I have our red cloth covered copy. She also read fairy tales from a Childcraft volume and we'd laugh and laugh at her Tom Tit Tott voice! Later we read Beverly Cleary's Ramona the Pest and I reread BC's books over and over again. I read Heidi in elementary school. I loved reading about the cold mugs of milk and the good bread (I must have been hungry!) I think Heidi was the first novel I actually read in a few days' time.
    Your copy is gorgeous! What a treasure! Thank you so much for the bacon instructions! I am buying the parchment paper today. I'm making lots of bacon! Happy Easter and happy sorting in your new space.

  12. What sweet illustrations and such a special book. I have one about horses that was my dad's and he even wrote in it. It is some 70+ years old. Oh, and I have his old Boy Scout Handbook, too.

    I have tons of favorites that I am saving for my grands...winnie the pooh, several sets of peter rabbit, milly molly mandy books, Tom Swift Jrs and Happy Hollisters and my beloved Peter Pan.

  13. Oh my heart started beating at a rapid rate when I saw your post title. I absolutely love the story of Heidi! In fact, I pulled it off my shelf the other day to show a young woman and I told her how it was full of the story of God's grace. I have a collection of Johanna Spyri's books which I treasure.

    Our family enjoyed books by Edith Nesbitt, Beatrix Potter, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Ralph Moody...oh so many!


  14. Isn't it a treasure when you find such gorgeous pictures in children's books? I love these!
    I'm not sure if my parents read to me as a child. I don't recall it, but I do know I was a bookworm in my own right by age 9 or 10. I remember working my way through all of the Black Stallion books and Marguerite Henry's books. I was given "Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West" as a birthday gift at about age 9 and I have an old copy on my shelves now that I got through Paperbackswap.
    I also have a stack of Little Golden Books from my children's childhood and have collected many other children's books to share with my granddaughter, Audrey, who is the only one of our 12 grands who lives nearby. I look forward to her having memories of being read to! (And her little brother or sister due in September!)
    Blessings on your household at Easter, Jody!

  15. Oh, and I do recall hauling home boxes and laundry baskets full of books from the library when my kids were little. I hope they remember those wonderful reading aloud times! One of my favorite homeschooling memories!

  16. I was not a big reader becuase of my dyslexia but my mother lives for books. So I still had a love for them. I feel very blessed xox Clarice

  17. I am a bookaholic... especially the old children's classics so don't even get me started. Heidi is one of my very favorites! Your edition is so charming and the fact that it was you mother's childhood treasure makes it so much more so. And I really think your mom should have named you Heidi... if you don't mind me saying so. It's so much more suitable than Gumbo! ;)

    Blessings, Debbie

  18. How fun to read through your comments -- all of my childhood favorites are there. My mother was an English major, so we were surrounded by books.

    What a treasure you copy of Heidi is too. I LOVE that story! If you ever get a chance to visit Switzerland, you must go to the little towns of Murren and/or Grindlewald. Then hike up into the mountains from town and you'll feel just like Heidi. It's amazing and brings the pages of that story to life!

  19. I have most of the favorites that I used to read to our children, and some from my own childhood, and I keep collecting more! Because my grandchildren don't visit very often, I am thinking of offering myself as a grandma-reader-for-loan to some local young mothers I know. I could bring my bag of favorites and read to the kids while the mom cooks or whatever. I miss reading to children!

  20. A lovely post...brings back great childhood memories. Thank you so much.

  21. Hi Jody!
    Your Heidi book is just beautiful! And after reading your comments about the illustrated Lark Rise, I just had to try to find one. I did ;). I bet you are up to your armpits in alligators these days . . . well, actually all days. Take care of yourself!



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