My aching mouth post-wisdom teeth removal interrupted my concentration when it came to reading. I was too tired and too crabby to focus on anything other than these three favorite books from my childhood.
Fiction — print. Thompson, Kay. Eloise. Simon and Schuster, 1983. Originally published 1955. 65 pgs. Gift.
Subtitled “A book for precocious grownups, about a little girl who lives at The Plaza Hotel”, Thompson’s classic children’s book introduces readers to a true “enfant terrible”. Eloise makes life anything but dull as she helps “run” the Plaza Hotel and uses her vivid imagination to pass the time.
I don’t remember the first time I was introduced to Eloise, but I do remember being quite disappointed when I visited the Plaza and was told that Eloise was not in. I could have gotten my copy of the book signed had I not been leaving for home the following morning. Even in my twenties, though, Eloise had me in stitches. Her playful antics were just the pick me up I needed to raise my spirits.
Fiction — print. Silverstein, Shel. The Giving Tree. New York: Harper Collins, 1964. 64 pgs. Purchased.
For those unfamiliar with Silverstein’s classic children’s book, this book tells the story of a tree and the boy she loves as the child grows. As a little boy, the tree is a source of fun and entertainment. As an adult, the tree is a source of economic prosperity. And, finally, as an old man, the tree is a source of peace.
The Giving Tree is always going to be a favorite book. My mom used to read it out loud to my brother and I at bedtime. It’s a comfort read; one I’m glad I could return to when the pain woke me up at 4:33 am the morning after surgery.
Fiction — print. Bjork, Christina and Lena Anderson. Linnea in Monet’s Garden. Translated from Swedish by Joan Standin. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1987. Originally published 1985. 53 pgs. Gift.
Linnea in Monet’s Garden tells the story of Linnea’s visit to the city of Paris with her neighbor and friend, Mr. Bloom. Her visit to Claude Monet’s garden is the highlight of her visit; she even stood on the Japanese bridge overlooking the lily pond that Monet painted so often!
I really enjoy visiting art museums, a fact that has not changed the older I’ve gotten. My mom used to take my brother and I to the local art museum to sketch what we saw hanging on the walls, and she purchased this book for me after a business trip. It has significantly more text than the other two books listed above, but I love the mix of illustrations, photographs, and paintings to compliment the story. The depiction of this lively little girl’s trip to Monet’s garden is an interesting and innovative introduction to one of the world’s most famous painters.