Sunday, December 19, 2010

LIttle Squirrel's Santa Claus

Christmas Week Repost 

As a small child, someone gave me a set of "tiny golden books". I know it was before I could read (so before I was four). This one, because it was of holiday theme, was stored with my Christmas mugs and some stuffed toys that were Christmas themed.

I used to sit in Grandpa's lap and he would read this to me until I had it memorized and then he would try to change the words just to hear me say, "That's not right, Bop!". Always trying to separate myself from my mother, I called him Bop, to be different from my mother calling him Pop. I still smile when I think about this! I have a very cute photo of us together. [My grandparents]

Somehow, this book got lost along the way when my grandmother moved from the beautiful English Tudor house to Rosedale Apts. which was only a few miles away. She lived in three different apartments in one complex until she moved in with my parents for her last years.

My father and I looked everywhere to buy another one. We thought the name was "Little Squirrel's Christmas". We didn't have Google then or it might have been easier.

I finally found it in a similar boxed set in a bookstore. It was sealed but I was quite sure it was right. Fortunately, my father was still alive. My mother couldn't see what the big fuss was. But, now, it is a treasured memento of my childhood.

Little Squirrel's Santa Claus was written in 1949 by the late Dorothy Kunhardt. It was illustrated by my favorite children's illustrator, the late Garth Williams. Garth was the illustrator for the Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books. Frozen in my mind are his drawing of Ma and Pa, Laura and her sisters. Dorothy Kunhardt is best know for the book "Pat the Bunny".


Anonymous said...

What an adorable book. I love seeking out the versions of books I enjoyed as a child to share with my son. For example, there are many different editions of the Chronicles of Narnia. However, my favorite ones were the volumes to be found at the Bridgewater Public Library.

My mother-in-law happened to have those volumes in a boxed set, so now they are my son's.

My current plan is to get Roald Dahl's "Fantastic Mr. Fox" for my son, but it MUST be the one with the Donald Chaffin illustrations. They are far more beautiful than any other illustrator's work on the book.

Heather Rojo said...

I used to have a treasured collection of Little Golden Books. My favorite was "Little Red Riding Hood". When we moved to NH almost 30 years ago I was thrilled to find out that the restaurant "Pickety Place" in Mason, NH was the home of the illustrator Elizabeth Orton Jones. I took my daughter here when she was about six, and we saw the "wolf" sleeping in the bed, and they delivered her lunch in a basket covered with a red checkered napkin. I don't know who had more fun, my daughter or me?!