Childhood favourites (Was Oh the horror!)

Gili Bar-Hillel abhillel at hotmail.com
Thu Feb 6 05:33:46 EST 2003


Joyce Odel wrote:

>Five favorite children's books that I actually read as a child?
...
>Right off the top; Oz.

With you there, not a surprise seeing as we first met on the Oz list...

>The illustrators who followed him were Frank Kramer, whose
>work was distinctly inferior -- although easier for me to copy -- and 
> >someone I cannot remember.

"Dirk". Also inferior. If contemporaries count, I like Eric Shanower a lot 
as an Oz illustrator, he's clearly influenced by comics but is very in 
keeping with Neill, I think...

>But it
>gave them a fine, chunky, "substantial" feel in the hand at least.

And an unmistakable smell. I'm certain I could identify a Reilly and Lee 
book by smell.

>Next; Betty MacDonald's children's books. Nancy and Plum was recently
>reprinted by somebody or other.

Oooh, I only ever read the Piggle Wiggle books. "Nancy and Plum" was also 
recommended on a list of Jaqueline Wilson's favorite children books, and she 
had a lot of other books that I loved. I guess I should definitely look this 
up...

>Third; C. S. Lewis's Narnia stories, and let's hear it for Pauline >Baynes 
>as well.

Yes! on both counts.

>Fourth; Edward Eager.

These were a great favorite of mine in fourth grade, I think mostly I was 
pleased to find a fellow E. Nesbit fan after I had finished reading all of 
her books that I could find. Doesn't one of his books also contain an Oz 
pastiche? And one definitely contains a parody on "Little Women"...

>Last...Why, the "color" series of Fairy Tale books
>edited by Andrew Lang, of course!

Yes, yes, yes! Me too!

>George MacDonald in
>particular. The Princess and the Goblin

Another favorite!
And I grew up several decades after you (born in 1974). Either I was old 
fashioned, or that's all I could get my hands on, or else I read far too 
much when I was little. I also loved the "Doctor Doolittle" books, Noel 
Streatfield's books, the Moomin books, and anything with horses in it. And I 
did discover DWJ at a relatively early age - I think I read "Charmed Life" 
when I was seven - but I only got hooked upon rediscovering her in my teens, 
when I was actually able to buy some copies of her books instead of 
borrowing them from libraries.
I also read a lot of Judy Blume books, but I grew out of realism. :)

Here's one more childhood favorite that I've almost never heard mentioned: 
"Poor Cecco", by Margery Williams (more famous for "The Velveteen Rabbit"). 
Am I the only person who has ever read this book?

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