Thursday, May 22, 2008

Truly Golden Books

I have been absent from the blog world for a while because our computer died. One morning last week Jeffrey tried to turn it on and... nothing. It is shocking to realize how much I missed blogging. How much I missed all of you. Happily, our newer, racier computer is now up and running. So here I am, rushing around trying to catch up on all I've missed in my favorite bloggers' worlds.

One of my blogging friends, Laura at Maude and Mozart, inspired my post tonight. She is a fellow bookaholic, and I love all the vintage images she finds to share with us. Laura's recent post featured delightful pictures from a book published when she was small.

That got me thinking of my own childhood favorites. Did you ever read about a cow named Caroline who made the sweetest cheese from her milk? What about Miss Suzie the squirrel who kept a darling little house at the top of an old oak tree? Did you ever go on adventures with the Lonely Doll and her bear friends? I remember struggling to make out the cursive that all the real Babar books were first printed with. I loved to visit Richard Scary's Busy, Busy World and would dream of driving a green pickle-shaped convertible of my own. And, of course, there were my darling Little Golden Books.

There are so many more great children's books available now than when I was a child. (Go ahead, ask me for a recommendation.) But, I always feel a sentimental longing for the sweet innocence of the books from yesterday. As a teacher and a book lover, I am pretty well-read as regards children's books. I always get a thrill when fellow teachers come to me looking for a great book to read aloud to their class. I have a special fondness for picture story books, and I think that children and teachers abandon them too soon in an effort to "grow up" as readers.

I was a blessed child with parents who not only loved to read, but who also understood the value of children owning their own library of books. (For more on this subject, you must read The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. My parents were way ahead of the research.) Every single week for years of my childhood, my mother took Brett, my brother, and me to the library every Friday to check out all the books the children's department would allow. Every Saturday we got to go to the bookstore to choose our weekly book. For many years, I took home a Little Golden Book every single week. Later, I graduated to a Trixie Belden mystery a week. I would read them in two days and feel so impatient as I waited for Saturday to roll around again.

So tell me, what were your favorite childhood books? And, which Little Golden Book do you love the most? I couldn't pick just one, so my two favorites are featured here.

Happy reading. Sursum corda!

These images are the covers of my two favorite Little Golden Books. The Tawny Scrawny Lion was published more frequently with a slightly different cover, but this one was mine. Not long ago I discovered some very cool journals on Etsy. I can't wait to have one for my own.

13 comments: said...

Hi Relyn,

Thanks for peeping back §:-))
and of course tnx for the book tips. My daughter who is 16yrs old is a good reader and loves the english ones.

Hope to see you in my room sometimes and likewise.

Enjoy the w/end w/ your fam...

greetings from Stockholm,

Laura said...

Yipee! You are back!!! and I am so honored that I "inspired" this post!!!! What a great post! I love the story of your Mom taking you all to the library and then to buy a book each week!!! I agree that it is important for kids to own some books too! I was lucky that way myself. I loved the Lonely Doll books. I still remember checking those out from the library as a kid. You made me think of some books I had not thought of in a while. I am compelled to go upstairs and find my childhood copy of Miss Flora McFlimsy's Christmas Eve...that was one of my faves. I was born in 1962 so my faves might be older than yours. Some of my recent children book faves are by William Joyce, David Weisner, and David Shannon.....There are so many great children's books out there these days....really they are works of art.

and the Golden book journals are too cool! hope you get one soon. I am working on a top secret project and have been for over a year. I am trying to put my own spin on turning old books into journals......maybe this weekend will prove successful.

thanks for this post, after yesterday when I had the most horrific day at work, this makes me feel happy again!!!!!


Something White said...

Oh yes, I always loved reading and still I do. I cannot remember very well all the books we had at home, but it were - of course - books in Dutch language. But I remember one Babar-book in French. When I grew up I devoured all Enid Blyton-works and anyway all kind of 'action' and adventure-stories. Now Kristina (7) reads also some of those children's-books which my parents kept all the time. Your cover-pictures are very nice. Have a good weekend, Marjolijn

Yoli said...

My little Golden Books are all Disney and some are in Spanish. I spent 10 years of my childhood there. I now at the old age of 40+ have two lovely toddlers adopted from China so I try to find more sensitive culturally diverse books. I have many for them as reading is so important in this house. We have two favorites right now that I read to my kids before bed time, "A Mom for Choco" and a Dragon book in Spanish.

Thank you for taking me down memory lane.

tangobaby said...

We totally missed you. I was having withdrawls.

I have to tell you that you might not have read the BEST Golden Book of all because you didn't mention it: The Color Kittens!

The Color Kittens! The Color Kittens! Omg!

I still have my copy.

Have a great weekend and post more because we need you.


dutchbaby said...

Welcome back - I missed you! I assumed you were consumed with end-of-year school obligations.

You've hit upon another favorite topic of mine: children's books! I loved reading out loud to our kids every night. Richard Scarry - definitely! Other favorites: anything by Bill Peet, but especially Chester the Worldly Pig; the Boxcar Children series; Anne of Green Gables (when they're a little older); Peggy Rathman's Office Buckle Gloria and Goodnight Gorilla; Six Dinner Sid; Miss Rumphius; Roxaboxen....I could go on and on.

Thank you for celebrating books!

Relyn said...


My husband is a high school librarian and English teacher. Plus, I love young adult literature. So, I have a few recommendations for your daughter. If she hasn't read the Twilight books, she really should. Also, she might like Great and Terrible Beauty. It's full of magic, though. I just wanted you to know because not everyone is comfortable with magic.


Ooohh - we are just book-sisters! We have such similar tastes, which makes it fun to discover new books from each other. I feel like I can already trust a book you recommend.

I have never read Miss Flora McFlimsy, but what a great name for a character. I will have to track her down. Isn't it funny that 8 years can really effect the childhood books we read?

You nailed some of my favorite author-illustrators. I adore Davide Weisner. I think my favorite is Flotsam, but I do love Sector 7. David Shannon is great and Alice the Fairy could have been written about Sloane at 3 or 4. So, of course, I adore that book. I love William Joyce, too. I think Santa Calls may be the best Christmas book there is.

I will be waiting to hear about your project once it is no longer Top Secret. Good luck with it!


I also enjoyed Enid Blyton - and E. Nesbit. I am glad to hear that your daughter is a reader. There is nothing better. What books do you love to read as an adult?


I think you are wise to focus on culturally sensitive books. They seem to be so much easier to find now than even just a few years ago. Are you familiar with Daisy Comes Home by Jan Brett? I would be interested in hearing what you think about it. Also, do you read much by Patricia Polocco? I love her books, too.


You are right, I have never even heard of The Color Kittens. But, I went right to and found it. I will be ordering it when I stop blogging for the night. Missed you, too.


You were right about year-end obligations. My computer broke down, too. The final weeks of school are always chaotic. But, now I have a lovely summer to enjoy. Thank God for that!!

I got so excited that you love Boxcar Children. I use the first one in the series as my first literature set every year. My students always enjoy the mystery and suspense. They also love the hominess of it. You know, all the descriptions of how the children turned an abandoned Boxcar into a home. That was my favorite part as a kid, too.

I love all the books you mentioned except for Six Dinner Sid. That one was new to me. I have already requested it from my local library.

About Anne, have you seen the TV movies by Kevin Sullivan? The first two are marvelous, but you can skip the last one. The first movie is one of the best book-into-a-movie ever. The soundtrack to it is also one of my favorite CDs ever.

Thanks to you all for your comments. I love sharing about books. Happy Memorial Day to you all.

Anonymous said...

I grew up reading Little Golden Books. My most favorite were:
Bobby's Airplane,
Scuffy the Tugboat and
Tootles (about a steam engine).

I would love to re-read them. Thanks for bringing back some very pleasant memories.

Jerusalem said...

Oh my gosh I can't believe someone else loved Miss Suzy too! It was one of my favs and now my kids love it too. I think she is behind some of my 'nest fluffing instinct'.

dianeinjapan said...

I was a Nancy Drew freak! But I wish I'd read more classics when I was younger--I've found so many wonderful books since having (and homeschooling) my kids.

Jessica said...

I have always loved books. When I was young my grandmother signed me up for a Golden books club. Every week another Golden book would come in the mail. I can remember sitting on the front stoop waiting for the mailman to bring my new book. Thanks for bringing back those wonderful memories!

Relyn said...


I got Six Dinner Sid from the library and read it. Sloane and I both loved it. Funny, it reminded me so much of a story in That's Our Cleo. I checked, Sid was published in 1991, Cleo in 1973. I wonder if Sid's author had read Cleo. It is the same story - almost exactly. Sid is better though, because it is a great storybook with nice illustrations.

Up from the Deep,

I had forgotten about Scuffy. Have to add that to my "But for Sloane" list. I don't know Bobby and Tootles. I am going on the search for them, though.


It's funny you said that about Suzie. I also think I got the urge to feather my nest from Suzie - and from the Boxcar Children.


I liked Nancy, but I LOVED Trixie. Did you ever read her? I must have spent hours practicing the bobwhite whistle.


A Golden books club??? SHOOT! I missed it! I was lucky, though, becuase my mom had me in the Parent's Press book club. That's where I got Caroline the cow and Miss Suzy. Of course, my own little princess gets a weekly book, $10 a month for Scholastic book clubs, and who knows what else. We must pass along the goodnes, right?

Jessica Murray said...

Hey there! Been trying to get my hands on a copy of Caroline the Cow. Anyone have any suggestions on where to look? I'm looking for it for my GiGI's 98th birthday gift and can't find it on amazon, ebay, half, etc. I know it's out of print so I am not too hopeful but would appreciate any suggestions! Thanks!!!

Oldies, but Goodies