Monday, November 24, 2008

The Golden Treasury of Children's Literature

edited by Bryna & Louis Untermeyer ~ Golden Press, 1966

Scored this amazing and hefty tome for a mere 49 cents, and believe me, it will bring this household hours and hours of family fun. Not only does its 544 pages hold one of my favorites ~ Switch on the Night ~ with illustrations by Hillary Knight (who knew?)... and a wonderful selection of Aesop's fables illustrated by the Provensen's, but it has this excerpt (Bambi Finds the Meadow) from the original Bambi story by Felix Salten illustrated by cult fave Charles Harper (Charley).

No mommy dies in this particular section, and it is still a weeper.

Bambi was a child. If he had been a human child he would have shouted. But he was a young deer, and deer cannot shout, at least not the way human children do. So he rejoiced with his legs and his whole body as he flung himself in the air. His mother stood by and was glad. She saw that Bambi was wild. She watched how he bounded into the air and fell again awkwardly, in one spot. She saw how he stared about him, dazed and bewildered, only to leap up over and over again. She understood that Bambi knew only the narrow deer tracks in the forest and how his brief life was used to the limits of the thicket.

I think any parent can relate to this and knows exactly how Bambi's mother feels here, which makes the inevitable all the more heartbreaking. I don't think I'd ever read this story in its original form, but it is elegant and profound. Even though ~ all on its own ~ the movie has traumatized children for generations, I doubt I'll ever view it in the same way. It certainly takes the "umbilical connection" (that's what my mom has always called that mother/child love) to a whole new level. Here I am, off to find the full text. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, let's all give thanks for mommies why don't we?

12 comments:

Min said...

I just have to say, I LOVE your blog! Thanks so much!

scribbler said...

thanks min! welcome.

loliecraft said...

What a find!

belle said...

wow this is just beautiful, you got one lucky family with a mom like you around

Dominic said...

I was seriously wondering if you could help me out. I live in Japan and need to find a few high quality copies of this tome for my brother, sisters and my own children. We received a copy of it from our neighbor in the 1975 and it became one of the foundations of our family.

The book was destroyed by flooding some years ago and I just found out about it.

On the inside, there is a picture of people sitting around reading. I need a high-resolution scan of that picture and wonder if perhaps you would be able to get it...

I also need to find good copies online or something. Has anybody seen it offered anywhere as 'new' or in 'excellent' shape?

Thank you so much for providing this time-consuming blog!

Anne said...

Does this book contain "Riki Tiki Tavi"? I am looking for a book my grandfather used to read to me. The cover looks right. Also a story called "Lobo King of the Kurumpa" Don't know if it's the correct spelling.

B. Streetman said...

does have riki tiki, but not the other... has something called The King of the Golden River though...

Cammie said...

Does this book contain the Raoul The Owl story (I think was by Jay Williams)?

Cammie said...

Does this contain the story Raoul The Owl? I think it was written by Jay Williams

Dominic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dominic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dominic said...

Yes, the 'Golden Treasury of Children's Literature' does contain 'Raoul the Owl' by Jay Williams. It begins on page 286. I was able to get a perfect used copy of the book on Amazon back in 2009.

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