I received a wonderful, wonderful box of books yesterday. I joined a I Refuse to Grow Up swap (for obvious reasons), and was thrilled to receive four vintage children's books picked especially for me by my partner Vicki. This exchange came with the additional challenge that the items had to be from a thrifted source.
Vicki read my profile and saw how much I love children's books and old books and illustrated books, so she sent me a book of fairy tales (with the same cover illustrations as a book she herself once had), a big book of poetry, a fantastically old almanac from the 40s filled with interesting facts and pictures, and a Kate Greenaway book since she noticed it on my Amazon wishlist. How is that for a thoughtful partner?
I'm not sure how she found the books so quickly, but I love everything...especially the long, juicy letter that she wrote to me explaining how much she loved reading as a child. I do so love meeting other people who love books!
I actually sent Vicki a book myself along with a few other small trinkets that reminded me of my own childhood. The book was The Stories Julian Tells, which I vividly remembered because of one particular chapter in which Julian helps his father make a wonderful, magical lemon pudding.
"A wonderful pudding," my father said. "It will taste like a whole raft of lemons. It will taste like a night on the sea."
Many years later, when I found the book again as an adult, I felt the exact same eagerness to taste that smooth, bright, lemony pudding in my mouth--I still do, actually, every time I re-read the book.
I also sent Vicki a picture of something I couldn't actually be parted with, but is a very important part of my childhood...my koala bear. She's worn and threadbare from years and years of loving, since she's been with me since I first got her in a box under the Christmas tree when I was 5 years old. Now she sits on a shelf near some of my favorite children's books...waiting patiently for me whenever I want to feel like a child again.