The idea that you might need to compete for attention. That urge to walk alone without holding on to anyone’s hand. Leaving the stroller behind. But most important of all — learning the difference between fantasy and reality. That’s the premise of this third volume of My Book House.
Like the other two volumes, this has stories from all over the world: the Phillipines, Australia, Germany, Scandinavia, the Bible. As per usual, most of the stories come from European sources, but that’s okay. It’s the foundation of western literature, innit. This volume is particularly fun because so many of the stories have colorful language that begs to be read aloud with funny accents and sounds.
One of my favs is "Wee, wee mannie and the big, big coo". I can just picture Mike Myers — in the movie I Married An Axe Murderer. The character of the father: "Oi, heed! Paper! Nooow!" Cracks me up every time!
There’s lovely illustrations by Kate Greenaway, poems by Emily Dickinson and Amy Lowell, a couple of Grimm fairy tales, even a bit of Chaucer and Wordsworth. It’s shamelessly anglo-centric, but then again, that just happens to be the main source of material because of the generation in which this book set was originally produced. It’s not a reason to turn your back on it or, as I’ve often seen, become a reverse snob and turn you nose up because it’s not multi-cultural enough. It doesn’t have to be. Besides, this is only one volume of twelve. Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean and Polynesia all pop up eventually, just not in a way that would satisfy a radical multi-culturalist.
A lot of the stories have to do with family life and living a pastoral existence — which would make Neil from YOUNG ONES especially happy. The best author name EVER: BJORNSTJERNE BJORNSON. I don’t know how to do it here, but there should be umlauts on the first Os of the name. Major freaking cool! I feel like the Swedish chef from The Muppets when I try to pronounce it: byern-styern byern-sen. LOL!!! Are you dying? I’m dying!
When I read this as a young’un, I remember being fascinated by the lawn growing on the roof of the shack. Everything in my world was so stultifyingly ordinary, this struck me as so fantastical! The book succeeded in introducing me to another world. And not just the lawn on the roof, but green, healthy grass. Not burned out brown weed and ant trails. All the land and water in these books is so lush and plentiful. Just the viewing of it was a respite from the endless summer weather that still plagues us.
- An Illustrated Treasury of African American Read-Aloud Stories- More than 40 of the World’s Best
- Just so stories for little children: illus. by the author. by Rudyard Kipling
- Chaucer’s CANTERBURY TALES
- Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson
- Poetry for Young People: William Wordsworth
- An Illustrated Treasury of Read-Aloud Poems for Young People
I bought my book set on eBay.
Volume 1: IN THE NURSERY
Volume 2: STORY TIME