27 February 2019


list thirty-five

childhood books I read over and over again-- tirelessly, joyfully-- books I loved so much it hurt:

maria tallchief (tobi tobias)-- purchased in first grade at the school book fair, filled with gorgeous pencil drawings of a native american dancer who went on to become a famous prima ballerina with the new york city ballet-- I spent hours examining the drawings and though I have long since parted ways with ballet (modern dance forever) this book was the definitive beginning of a life devoted to the study of dance (there are still times I want to slip back inside this book and become maria tallchief)

peppermint (dorothy grider)-- a litter of kittens is born in the back of a candy shop and all of them find a home but one, a sickly little white kitten named peppermint-- the heartbreak, I could not take it-- which is probably why I read it a hundred million times

little majorette (dorothy grider)-- baton twirling was never really my thing but the pictures of the costumes in this book (specifically a little red two-piece number with bright white fringe and matching white leather boots) had me seriously reconsidering

I know a story (miriam blanton huber, frank seely salisbury, mabel o'donnell)-- pretty much your standard collection of classic tales but the last story in the book, the boy who went to the north wind, was about a magic stick and a magic goat and a magic tablecloth and wind that actually talked and a boy and his mother who had nothing but got everything in the end 

popular party games (alison m. abel)-- purchased at the school book fair in second grade and the beginning of a lifelong obsession with party planning-- there's a price tag on the front marked 30 cents and my initials scrawled next to it which means at some point, I probably tried to sell this book at family yard sale-- thank the good lord it never sold because there are key sentences underlined throughout, specific game titles circled and entire paragraphs crossed out-- it's a little piece of second grade andrea and I die when I think how easily it could have disappeared into the ether

flicka, ricka, dicka and the strawberries (maj lindman)-- checked out from the local library repeatedly and then purchased twenty years later at an antique mall somewhere in tennessee-- to be clear, I loved all the flicka, ricka, dicka books as well as the snip, snap and snurr books (because old-fashioned storybooks about swedish triplets are meant to be adored)-- however, this particular flicka, ricka, dicka book just about did me in-- the girls (in adorable matching red and white dresses, mind you) go on a picnic in the woods, get lost while picking wild strawberries, and are taken in by a sweet family who has nothing-- in the end, the family helps them get back home safely and the girls return with a basket filled with strawberries and milk and bread and other assorted goodies to repay the kindness and every time, my little seven year-old heart burst wide open reading this, every single time


  1. I used to love the book "Peppermint." Thank you for jogging my memory! I just went to see if I could buy it and used ones start at $75!

    1. wow, I had no idea the old copies go for so much!

  2. I loved "Peppermint" too! I know I've got an extremely well-worn copy of it somewhere (I definitely read it to my kids), and now I'm inspired to go find it...

    1. you still have your copy! that is glorious.