Thursday, July 9, 2009

Little Books I Love (and some big ones too)

and while we're talking about books . . . .

Do you just love "little books?"

One of the cookbooks I mentioned a few days ago as being one of my favorites is the Pound Cake Cookbook. Besides being a terrific cookbook, I'm attracted to it, I think, because of its size. I have a fondness for "little books."

I have a small collection of these little books and they seem to seek me out. One of the first ones I fell in love with was a gift from a friend. It was the first in the Griffin and Sabine trilogy by Nick Bantock. I fell head over heals in love with it, and of course, couldn't wait for the rest of the story.

If you're a fan of collages, you will adore these books. In addition to the lovely art work, they're full of fun little "pull-outs." Letters are tucked into envelopes, and give a sense of secretiveness to it all. There's also a mystery. And the mystery that each ends with carries into the next.

Similar to the Griffin and Sabine trilogy are the lovely Pistoulet books by Jana Kolpen.

and there's Mary Emmeling's Hearts,

and Hart and Calvert's The Love of Lace

and Roberta B. Etter's Tokens of Love.

But my very, very favorite is Merchant of Marvels and the Peddler of Dreams by Frederic Clement. It's a wonderful little book full of whimsy and magic.

This is the story of Frederic Knick-Knack, the Peddler of Dreams, who is hunting for the perfect gift for a very special, very dear friend. Here's a sampling - - -


Looking back at what my very favorite childhood books were, it makes it pretty easy to figure out where my fascination with these artsy little books must come from.

Big books.

but beautifully illustrated.

Like a lot of little girls, I fell in love with Kay Thompson's Eloise, and never quite outgrew it. Oh my - the allure of living at The Plaza, shouting "Oh, my Lord!" as I skibble, skidder, slomp, scamper and sklonk up and down those glorious halls. Me, and Weenie and Skipperdee while Nanny relaxes in our suite watching the fights and enjoying a cold pilsner.

In addition to the never-ending adventures of Eloise, there were the perfect illustrations by Hilary Knight. The Eloise books just would not have had quite the appeal, I don't think, without Mr. Knight's contribution.

A kind of grown up version of Eloise is Lulu Guinness' Put on Your Pearls, Girls. It even has pop-ups!

And one more favorite - -

The Library by Sarah Stewart. "Elizabeth Brown's obsession begins in childhood: "She didn't like to play with dolls,/ She didn't like to skate./ She learned to read quite early/ And at an incredible rate."

Sound like anyone you might know? Like perhaps your very own self, just maybe?


Vicki Lane said...

Mmmm . . .going to have to look for the Sarah Stewart book -- that could indeed be me.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

This was a wonderful post! I love the 'little books.' My daughter still reads picture books (she's 7) and I absolutely love them. When she outgrows them, I'll have to graduate to the 'little books.'

By the way, I'm a fellow corgi owner and LOVE your header photo.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Vicki - DO check out Sarah Stewart's THE LIBRARY! You will love it! Actually, if you have an opportunity to take a look at all her books, please do. Like so many "children/young adult" books, they're delightful, and NOT just for children. And Ms. Stewart is quite an interesting person.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Elizabeth, I'm so happy you dropped by!!

I saw a picture of your adorable Chloe! WHAT a sweetie she looks to be. Corgis just rock, don't they?

That picture of Harley was a once in a lifetime lucky shot, and I'm happy you like it.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Well, it's the best corgi photo I think I've ever seen. Tasha Tudor would be proud!

Thanks for the kind words about my mischievous, sweet Chloe! You've inspired me to feature her in more of my blogs.


Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

She would have been proud, wouldn't she?! I should have sent her a copy of it. dang. And now it's too late.

Your Chloe will become a star once you start giving her some more time at your blog!! She'll want her own Facebook page before long!

Lois said...

Too bad you won't be coming north in the next few weeks. I think yoiu would like the current exhibit at my work

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

I just peeked at this, and oh my, yes - you are right - I would adore it!!!
And I think you must work at one of the coolest places ever. Do you love it?!