from our home library: vintage book

October 8, 2009

Most of the books I review on this blog are ones that I check out from the library. We usually get between 15 and 20 books a week and then I decide which ones are worth reviewing. (I only review the ones that Juliet enjoys sitting still and listening to.)

While, this has been great--we have a never-ending supply of books to choose from--I have been disappointed that I haven't been able to review some of my favorites from our home library. We have so many great books that we read over and over again, but I rarely mention them. The due dates in the library books compel me to write about them first!

If you could see the pile of books I have next to my desk--books that have been sitting here for months--you would laugh. I picked out a bunch of our very favorites and poor Juliet is probably wondering where they disappeared to. In an effort to shrink this pile down and to share with you a glimpse into our home library, I have decided to review one of our own books each Thursday.

A home library is a lot like a music library--so much depends on an individual's taste. I tend to like vintage children's books, so you will see a lot of those featured. The illustrations are usually mini-works of art, so I especially like sharing them with Juliet.

If you love vintage children's books, a GREAT blog to check out is vintage kids books my kid loves. I get so much inspiration from her reviews--she finds the greatest books.

Here is a book I discovered on my own in our local goodwill.

Doctor Rabbit by Jan Wahl, Illustrated by Peter Parnall

This is a hardcover book from the Weekly Reader Children's Book Club published in 1970.
The reason I picked this book up is because of the beautiful work of the illustrator, Peter Parnall. You might remember that I also have a gorgeous ABC book called Apricot ABC by Miska Miles that was also illustrated by Parnall. I love the detail level and style of his drawings. They are mostly black and white with tiny splashes of color.
The story begins: "The Rabbit was chosen to be the doctor because of all animals in the long forest he was the quickest on quick fur feet. The first thing he did was hang out a beautiful shingle--RABBIT, M.D. it said in pinecones and leaves."
He hangs poems on the walls of his office for his patients to read. Can you see what the poem says? It's so funny! Here it is:

Lettuce is never too much with us!
Oh loo oh loo!
Nothing's crisper,
Let me whisper!
oh loo oh loo
oh loo lay lee

I love how he channels Wordsworth with that first line! Hilarious! (Please forgive my book nerd sense of humor.)

And also:

The half moon's sailing across the sky,
the wind is coming and the rain,
the grass feels nice and cool and green
don't ask why, don't ask why.

Those poems crack me up! I kind of want to hang them up on my walls somewhere...don't ask why, don't ask why.
The story continues with Doctor Rabbit and Miss Mouse the nurse. Various animals have ailments (a feverish cricket shown in the above illustration). The good doctor works so hard helping others that he burns himself out and makes himself sick.
When all the animals hear about the doctor's illness, they all bring him flowers--tiger lilies, columbines, daisies, red clovers, and a shooting star. I especially love these pages with the flowers on them.
It's a sweet book and very appealing to Juliet. She loves reading it and acting it out. She is always Miss Mouse and she likes to run in and out of the room yelling, "The doctor is sick! The doctor is sick!" We have a doctor kit that she loves using as well during this imaginative play.

I hope you enjoyed that! I'm linking up to Suzanne at Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingies Thursday. Check out her site for more great vintage finds!

Anyone have any favorite vintage books in your own collection? I would love to hear about them!


The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

You know the illustrations really attractive and I'm with you, the words are too...I think they would look great frames. They are kind of understated and classy.

Really beautiful and sweet!

Annie said...

I love the illustrations too! My little girl loves bunnies, so I hope I can find this book somewhere at a good will!

Coloradolady said...

What a sweet book, love the illustrations, and of course the bunny is so sweet...Have a great weekend and a wonderful VTT!

pussreboots said...

I love the vintage books blog. Like you I have a huge pile of books I want to review on my blog. It's a never ending labor of love. :)

Debbie said...

The pictures are amazing.

viridian said...

What great illustraions. Thanks for sharing. Happy VTT.


I miss reading little kids books with lovely
illustrations like these. Kids grow up too fast!

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