from our home library: vintage book {birds in the sky}

October 15, 2009

This past summer, we spent a week at a state park with Ben's extended family. It was an annual family reunion that we have been attending for years. I discovered that the Nature Center at the park had a small library that guests were allowed to borrow books from. (The nature center also had a small collection of creatures, namely venomous snakes, that you could observe in supposed safety. I say "supposed" because while we were in the center, looking for some books, one of those rattlesnakes almost escaped. Fortunately, it only made it halfway out of its cage, but there were a few tense moments as we all watched in horror as the park ranger tried to wrangle it back into its cage. Juliet still talks about this.)

That story is neither here nor there (to quote my 9th grade English teacher), I just mention it because that Nature Center library is where I first discovered this book.

Birds in the Sky by Lucy and John Hawkinson, published by Childrens Press in 1965.

We only had it for 2 days, but I fell in love with it. The illustrations were gorgeous water color works of art. Images of birds, especially vintage ones, really appeal to me. I loved the book so much that when I went to return the book, I asked the ranger if I could buy the book from them. She said no, and I was about to protest, maybe offer her a number/flash a little cash and see if she would cave, but then I caught a glimpse of that rattlesnake sulking in his cage, and I figured I'd better get out of there quickly. I would have to find the book some other way.

I did find the book by searching the Internet. I ordered it through which seems to be a really great place to find vintage books online. The prices were reasonable and the sellers rate the condition of the books. There were several copies of this book available and I ordered one that was listed as 4 stars in very good quality. It was an ex-library copy, so I knew that the dust jacket was missing.
I received my book quickly and was pleased to see that it looked like it had never been read. The pages that I loved so much were still crisp and fresh--no brown stains or smudges as are common in most old books. I guess it wasn't a popular read!
You can see that it spent time in two different libraries. In Talihina Public Library in Oklahoma and also, Felix J. Appleby Elementary School Library in Blythe, California.
I love how the library stamps are still in the book. Do you remember filling out those cards and getting the due date stamped in them when you were in school? I always wanted to use that stamper!
Here are some images from the book. My pictures don't do them justice. You really need to pick up a copy to see them for yourself.
I love this page of a little girl sitting in a field watching doves.
This is another favorite of a girl watching a flock of redwings "chattering and swirling in a red evening sky."
Here are some sandpipers running down a beach.
This little boy is looking back at the sandpipers as he walks with his friends.

The last page of the book shows all the birds and gives their names. Such a great book for a nature lover. I'm so glad that I found it.

Two other fabulous vintage bird books that I own are Birds Around Us by Marjorie Stuart and Introducing our Eastern Birds by Matthew F. Vessel & Herbert H. Wong. I will have to share those with you on another day!

Do you have any favorite bird-themed books? Vintage favorites? I'd love to hear about them.

I'm linking up to Suzanne at Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingies Thursday--check out her site for more great vintage treasures!


Christine said...

You have good taste. I completely understand why you love this book. The illustrations are magical.

Postcardy said...

I don't have any vintage bird books, but I have some vintage bird postcards published by the National Wildlife Federation.

knutsel Rein said...

What a wonderful book!

Maureen said...

Love the "softness" of those pictures.

I've read a few posts about old children's books lately and it has me thinking back to the books I loved. The Happy Hollisters, Pippi Longstocking, and my all time favorite Charlotte's Web. Oh, and let's not forget Dick and Jane!

one gal's trash said...

Hi and thanks for stopping by! When my daughter was young, we read The Paper Princess by Elisa Kleven. Actually, we still love it; and she is 16 and I am...OLD! Hope you have a chance to read's lovely.

Debbie said...

The pictures are so pretty, the would look great framed.

Coloradolady said...

I really love it when I find old library books, they are really nice and I love it when I happen upon some. Cute book, love the colors in the pictures.

Have a great VTT and a wonderful weekend.

oh amanda said...

I love it! When we were at Newport Beach we stopped at the library (to use the restroom...) and they had so many great books in there! I decided I would always stop at local libraries when we are on vacation b/c it has such a nice homey feel about it!

Anyway, I'm going to look for that one!

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