Sunday, September 27, 2009

Orange biography mystery, solved at last

This weekend was one of our favorite annual book sales. I maneuvered myself, Lucy in the sling, and my two rapidly-filling tote bags through the crowd around the children's book table, and then all around the room, and came away with a lot of treasures! I didn't find as many picture books as usual, but I got a bunch of good books for the future. (I justify my book hoarding because "it's our children's education!)

These were my most exciting find. When I was in elementary school in the 70s, I read every one of a series of biographies in my school library. I remember their orange covers. I remember where they were on the shelves. I remember loving them. But I haven't been able to remember what they were! I finally figured it out when I spotted these and recognized them instantly (under those dust jackets are the orange covers). They're from the "Childhood of Famous Americans" series. Now I remember that what was so engaging about them was that they were about kids, and you got to see what made them into the adults they were to become. I'm excited to get reacquainted with them and see if I still like them as an adult. If so, I'd love to collect more of them for our children.

I also found two other 1970s books that I would have loved had I known of them back then (who am I kidding? I love them now!).

The first is Kids are Natural Cooks, which was written by a parent-coop nursery school. It perfectly suits the way our family cooks now--it's organized by seasons, emphasizes whole foods, and teaches children how to make things (yogurt, sprouts, even gelatin) from scratch. And--how cool is this?--they set up a table of ingredients for the kids, let them choose what they wanted, wrote down the recipe they created that way, and then cooked up their concoctions. Some of the yummier creations ended up as recipes in the book. Awesome. I've got to do that some day.

The other one is Miss Patch's Learn-to-Sew Book. This book makes it look so easy, and yet doesn't talk down to kids. In fact, by the end, she's got them sewing doll clothes and even clothes for themselves from patterns they've drafted! I needed this book long ago!

There's more...lots more. But those were the ones that really thrilled me.

1 comment:

jkanekalkert said...

Oh Lise, I remember those biographies too! I swear I can remember how they feel in my hand as well as the smell. What a fantastic find:)