The Front PorchSeptember 11, 2016
Welcome to This House Has Many Books, a blog about literature for children of all ages. Children’s literature, as with that written for adults, should be experienced, appreciated and enjoyed. It is through the process of interaction with a literary work on a personal level, that the reader makes meaning.
The name for this blog came to me as I sat in my living room and thought about how every room in my house, including hallways both upstairs and down, has books in it, with the majority of these being children’s books. Each book evokes a memory or calls to mind a connection – some old and some newly formed. Some books have been around a long time, some are brand new.
One of my earliest memories associated with a children’s book is from my nursery school days. I had a wonderful teacher who gave each of us a special present when we ‘graduated’. It was a book. The one I was given was in the Wonder Books series and was called “The Blowaway Hat” by Leone Adelson, illustrated by Dellwyn Cunningham (1946). Inside the cover it said “This is my Wonder Book” and there was a place for the owner’s name. My teacher, Miss Emily, wrote: For Jane, I hope you will enjoy this book and many others. With love, Miss Emily.” I remember reading and re-reading it, especially the message from Miss Emily.
However, as sometimes happens, somewhere, in the process of growing up, moving out, and making a life of my own, I became separated from the book I had loved so much as a child. When my university students would speak about favourite books they had growing up, I would always recall fondly The Blowaway Hat. Then one day, my husband Steve, located the book at a used book site and bought it. It now sits on the shelf right behind me as I write this. And whenever I open it, the treasure trove of memories that live inside are brought forth. Such is the power of children’s books and the lasting connection one special teacher made with a child. Thank you Miss Emily!