Ask Amma

Mid-twentieth Century Picture Books I Can’t Stop Reading

In Books on 12 January 2014 at 11:21 am

Every time I clean the bookshelves, there are some children’s books I can never give away.  I read them again and again.   Some of them were written fifty to seventy five years ago, and are as relevant today.  To name a few from my own childhood …

A timeless feminist fable is The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes (1939) by DuBose Heyward.   Yes, the same author, along with Dorothy Heyward, who brought us Porgy and Bess.

Robert McCloskey
Blueberries for Sal (1949) is about Primitive Accumulation.   I’d write an essay about its comment on the natural and the social, on economy and culture, on humans and animals but there is nothing I can write that is not better said by the story itself.  We’ve read many of his other works, including Make Way for Ducklings (1941) –  a comment on the urban and rural.   We’ve also visited the ducklings immortalized in the Park in Boston.

Urban and Rural hit home in Virginia Lee Burton’s The Little House (1942) by Virginia Lee Burton.  How will The Little House weather the changing seasons and changing times?

Maggie and the Pirate (1979) is by another soul-stirring author illustrator, Ezra Jack Keats.  It blows me away every single time I read it.  I have most of his books – another favorite is A Letter to Amy (1968).
So many more … I will update as we go along.  Can’t shelve the cleaning forever …
Thanks to Sonika Amma for motivating me to start writing this.  Her list is here:  Books We Love♥.

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