As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Golden Treasure

Because we love poetry, and because it is National Poetry Month after all, I thought I would share some of our favorite poetry books during the month of April.
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I have wonderful memories of the magical revolving book rack at the grocery store, filled with Little Golden Books. My mother would sometimes delight me with a purchase from that plethora of word-goodness. (I believe that Little Golden Books cost 29 cents in those days. Oh but that makes me sound old!)

What a golden treasure those treats much better, so much more lasting than a candy bar or a popsicle or even a new toy. Today I can stumble on a book in a used book store or an antique store and it will spark a memory. Then I pick it up and thumb through it, and remember vividly the illustrations and the phrases that I find within its pages.

Perhaps my very favorite Little Golden Book is A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin. What child could not love Stevenson's verses—the way he saw through a child's eyes, and laced the words together in his engaging style? My own children have fallen in love with the same poems that I loved (and still love) and that my mother loved—"The Swing", "The Land of Counterpane", "By the Seashore", "Time to Rise"—and now my grandchildren are loving them too.

And as much as I adore the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson, I am equally fond of the illustrations of Eloise Wilkin. Her old-fashioned watercolors of cherubic children are endearing, and she somehow captures the innocence of childhood and the tenderness of the adults around them.

Sadly, the Little Golden Book edition of A Child's Garden of Verses is out of print, so you may have difficulty locating it. Perhaps you'll be lucky enough to stumble on it in an antique shop, or win a bid on eBay! There are other versions, though, that are still published, including a lovely volume with illustrations by Tasha Tudor.

However you find it, I think every child should be friends with A Child's Garden of Verses!


Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again
Up in the air and down!


  1. We have bought our Children a few Little Golden Books, and we have a few of my Husband's, they are priced at 59 cents...I was actually thinking of getting a few for our Little Boy who is turning 2 next month.
    We have a "Classically Illustrated" version of A Child's Garden of Verses, but the two you mentioned (esp. Tasha Tudor, a new Love of mine) sound Wonderful!

  2. Oh gracious, Cheryl. This posting is sooooo up my alley! Poetry and Little Golden Books and Eloise Wilkin ... some of my favorite things ever. When I was actively collecting children's books, I was amazed at the number of versions of "A Child's Garden of Verses" that had been published over the years. Every time I thought I must now have them all, I would stumble upon another one. I think I have all of the Little Golden Books that Eloise Wilkin illustrated, and some of them were very hard to find. But it was fun going to antique shops, searching for them in the days before eBay. Thank you for this posting. I love everything about it. And the photo of Bekah swinging is precious.


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