A New Series: A Few of My Favorite Things – Children’s Books Part Two

185b2d4179dff36a690a1fa959dcfbb3I don’t know who to attribute this quote to, but isn’t it wonderful!  Children’s books aren’t just for children, we all know that. There are times, remembering a favorite childhood book, we decide we have to hold it in our hands once again. Thus began my search for the poems of James Whitcomb Riley.

A card from a bookseller in June 1989 reads…We can provide you with JWR’s Riley’s Child-Rhymes, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill (1905), 188 pages, green cloth with a nice pictorial cover. Very good condition; former owner’s name in ink on front free endpaper: Belle Baggs August 1, 1910. Includes Little Orphant Annie, The Raggedy Man, Old Aunt Mary’s and 36 other poems, copiously illustrated by Will Vawter (Bookseller, Andrews & Rose, Niles Michigan.) The other piece of ephemera is my book is a bill of sale for $12.50.

Imagine my pleasure when this slim volume arrived and I could read once again, Little Orphant Annie. Here is the first verse.

Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,

An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, and brush the crumbs away,

An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth. an’ sweep.

An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board an’-keep.

An’ all us other children, when the supper things is done,

We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun

A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,

An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you Ef you Don’t Watch Out!

 

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About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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11 Responses to A New Series: A Few of My Favorite Things – Children’s Books Part Two

  1. I still have some of my childhood books, and my Mother’s too. They are lovely to look at again 🙂

    • You are a lucky lady to have these footprints to your Mom’s childhood and yours as well. I will think of you closing your eyes with one of those books in your hand and remembering.

  2. pbmgarden says:

    I’ve been eying my bookshelves recently, thinking how I need to cull the selections, but your leading quote gives me permission to set that idea aside.

  3. johnvic8 says:

    Stepheny, When I was about 10 I began to read Richard Halliburton’s adventure/travel books. He went all over the world (before WW2) visiting and writing about great and fascinating places, most about which I’ve heard little since, but I thought they were wonderful. He swam the Panama Canal, and I remember particularly the account of his being raised in a basket up a cliff to a Greek monastery. I’ve looked for those books to recommend to my grandsons without success.

    • Your childhood friend*** admired Rupert Brooke, who I have written about in an earlier posts. He was a part of the Bloomsbury Group and endlessly fascinating to me. ***Halliburton, Richard, The Glorious Adventure (New York and Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1927). Traveller/travel writer Halliburton, in recreating Odysseus’ adventures, visits the grave of Brooke on the Greek island of Skyros. Another example of how small the world is. Brooke knew Vita Sachville West and Virginia Woolf…and on it goes.

  4. John Holton says:

    James Whitrcomb Riley was popular in my family, so we all heard parts of “Orphant Annie,” particularly the last line, when we were kids.

    I found an e-book collection of Victor Appleton’s Tom Swift books for 99 cents a while ago. My grandmother had kept all of my dad’s and uncles’ books from when they were kids, and gave them all to us when we were younger, and Tom Swift figured heavily in the collection, so I just had to have the set. And any time I’m in an antique store that has books, I have to look for the books by Leo Edwards (they featured characters like Poppy Ott, Jerry Todd, and Tuffy Beans), because we had read them back in the Sixties. A lot of those books were printed on cheap paper because they were printed during WWII.

    I do believe this is a web post of my own… 😉

    • We are kindred souls. Loved reading about YOUR books and the ones you seek. This is a great reference post. Thanks for the info. Wish we could frequent some old bookstores together and look for our favorite titles.

  5. I still love all my childhood books. I read them over again with my kids and hope to read them again with grandkids someday. They are treasures.

  6. That is so cute!!!!

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