"Whatever shall we do in that remote spot? Well, we'll write our memoirs. Work is the scythe of time." --Napoleon Bonaparte, on his way into exile.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Moomintrolls and other gentler kids books

I'm still participating in Postcrossing, although I haven't sent out more myself since my initial sign-up. I have received two; one from Germany (Hamburg) and this one (just the postage is shown) from Finland. I particularly enjoyed this stamp because it features a Moomintroll, delightful little creations of Tove Jansson. E knows of them because they've naturally crossed into Russian children's culture; he has a couple of cartoons he's downloaded and shown (and translated; they're in Russian) to Tess and me. He found a book at Ann Arbor's Friends of the Library book sale once; Moominland Midwinter, which I adore.

The stamp is also unique in that it's fuzzy! I'm so glad our respective postal services didn't destroy it with a big, nasty cancellation stamp.

I was recently looking for Astrid Lindgren books (E routinely informs me she wrote so much more than just the Pippy Longstocking books) at our library and came across a different childhood favorite of mine, The Golden Name Day.

When I was ten, my family moved to a house where I FINALLY had a room of my own (I'd previously always had to share with my sister) and I promptly decorated it with yellow rose wallpaper just like Nancy in the book. The Garth Williams illustrations take me straight back to childhood, since he also illustrated my beloved Laura Ingalls Wilder series and several other childhood favorites, including Charlotte's Web and Cricket in Times Square.

Funny, I was thinking of Golden Name Day (I'd long since forgotten the name of it) just last week, and wouldn't you know, there was Lindquist, right next to Lindgren. It has been a refreshing treat to read in the past week...just a gentle story of simpler times without anyone being in danger or going on any fantastical adventures.

Not that I mind that kind of book, I just grew up with a different kind of literature than Goosebumps and all the TV tie-in crap that we try to avoid with Tess. She regularly announces to people, "My mom doesn't like Sponge Bob." She's had to add Hello Kitty to the list (at least, the DVDs and videos out there) after discovering they're a bit violent (Hello Kitty! I swear). Although I have nothing against Hello Kitty merchandise (I once collected bits of Batz Maru merchandise, because I loved penguins), just her on-screen adventures.

Back to NaNo. Since I'm not letting anyone read my first draft ("The first draft of anything is crap" -- Ernest Hemingway, I believe...), you can go read fellow NaNoer Bob's "Lucky Seven" Harry Potter interview, in which I recently participated instead. Thanks, Bob, that was fun!

Finally, speaking of childhood memories, I loved miniatures as a kid and saved my paper route money (honestly, I had a paper route, how old-fashioned is that?!) to buy a dollhouse at Franks Nursery & Crafts (now I'm really showing my age...they recently closed all their stores and soon, in the wake of JoAnn's Etc and Michael superstores, no one will remember them). I remember the seemingly exhorbitant price of $85 (took me a year to save that much...I made $30 a month on my twice-a-week paper route). Through the wonder of Yahoo Google ads, I found these beauties, clocking in at $139-$250. I'm gonna need a daily paper route to save for one of those!


  • At 6:22 PM, Blogger freddyknits said…

    Hey there. If you like picture books and Astrid Lindgren, check out Mirabelle. It is about a little girl who grows a doll from a seed, and the doll comes to life. Very sweet.


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