Friday, February 27, 2009

Some of my First Friends.

My Little Blue Story Book by David H. Russell,
Odille Ousely, illustrator, Ginn and Company, 1948

When I was first learning to read I loved these old Ginn Basic Readers my mom had lying around. This softback book was one of my favorites. The illustrations depicted a sort of dream world for me. A world in which one could look at beautifully decorated cupcakes in a bakery window. How very Leave it to Beaver. (only that was in black and white) We didn't have a local bakery in my town and none of our trees had benches that wrapped around them. Our dog didn't have a house and in the winter he slept in one made from straw bales which probably gave him better insulation than our old farmhouse.

Tom, Susan, Betty and Flip were the kids I learned to read by. Who were Dick and Jane? :) The competition apparently. The Dick and Jane series came first, published by Scott Foresman company in 1927. Their success spawned "copycats" such as Alice and Jerry (Row, Peterson, and Company), Ned and Nancy (DC Heath and Company) and my very favorites, Susan and Tom (Ginn). Of course, I'm not really old enough to have to have been in a classroom where any of these were used. No, even in my youth these were vintage.

Perhaps exploring this quaint world in pictures and words was my first introduction into my love of the past, memories, and all things vintage. The series ACTUALLY used in my first grade classroom involved some kind of black and white reproducible with a dog named Lad. I really don't remember much else.

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