Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


The Lonely Doll

I love going to the library, something that started when I was just a kid. Our town didn't have a library, so every Saturday we drove 6 miles to Merrillan, Wisconsin, population 636, where they had a tiny library, open only on Saturdays. My grandparents' insurance agency was just up the street, so we usually parked there and walked down.
This was the early 70's, and I doubt any book in that library had been published after 1965. So my check-outs consisted of oldies, like the The Wizard of Oz series and The Five Little Pepper series, both of which I now collect. ( Most of my Pepper books are first editions, with publication dates between 1890-1910. Oldies, indeed...) But they were new to me, so their age didn't matter.
But I think my absolute favorites were Dare Wright's books about Edith, The Lonely Doll. The library had big hardbacks of them, dressed in noisy, crinkly plastic covers. I'm not sure what it was about them that fascinated me, but one has to wonder the depth of the impression, given my first picture book was about a doll... I have searched on ebay for first editions of these, to no avail, but happily they came out as reprints a few years ago and I picked a couple up. There is something absolutely reassuring about having copies of these books and the Oz books and the Pepper books on my shelves. It's like I have my childhood there, just waiting for me to open the covers and go back to those days when I walked into that little library, eager to take stories home.


Edie Hemingway said...

I, too, love that reassurance of having bits of my childhood still on my bookshelves! And I also remember Edith, the lonely doll, all the more so because I shared her name.

Lauren said...

What wonderful memories, Stephanie. I did not know the Lonely Doll series growing up and only discovered it with the re-printing. And I don't know the Five Little Peppers-- this is so great!

Christy said...

My mother loved and read me The Five Little Peppers. I loved it too, then read it to my daughter, who also loved it. I will look for the Lonely Doll and ask my mom if she knows it. You are right about the comfort of having dear childhood books at hand. They are like family members.

betsy woods said...

Ok, don't laugh, the library was a block or so from my grandparents house. It was a rectangular building crowded with stacks of musty smelling books. I could walk there by myself, which was exceptionally cool, the sir conditioning was always high and the water cooler hummed. The next best thing I had was the book mobile.