I have been sorting through bits and pieces of my life and ran across this little book from childhood. It’s a Whitman Tiny Tales book called “Plush,” #2952 in the series. I remember this book. I loved this book. I especially loved the straw hat with the ear holes.
Isn’t it funny the things that strike kids? I had a pony, so it wasn’t the pony itself that got my attention – it was the straw hat. And that garland of flowers. Just loved those things.
Each little book had a place to put your name in. My mom wrote 8-66 in this one, along with my name. I would have been four at the time – this would have been right before I started school in the fall – maybe at the end of my summer in Head Start. Regardless of the specifics, it’s definitely a little time capsule.
I had a bunch of these little books and I can make out the faint five cent price printed on the upper right corner. I’m not sure how much money that was in 1966 when this was purchased, but this calculator indicates it’s somewhere between a quarter and 55 cents, depending on what measure you use.
I know I got five cents worth of enjoyment out of it. I always loved books – even before I could read. My mother was not a reader – she didn’t like it at all – but she read to me – faithfully. I guess that falls into the category of things parents do for their children.
She had a love/hate relationship with my love of books. She wanted me to love to read, but she couldn’t understand how anyone could possibly love to read. Even when I was an adult, it bugged her for me to read. She just couldn’t understand it. She wanted to be outside, working in the garden or mowing the lawn or just being in the sunshine. How anyone could be happy indoors with their “nose in a book” remained a mystery to her until the end of her life.
But for me that love affair with books continues to this very day. I even took a couple of minutes to reread this little gem tonight – the plot is that the farm animals go to the fair in a cart pulled by Plush. They sell some of their items – jam and lemonade and such – and buy others. They all present Plush with thank you gifts at the end of the day. And Mrs. Duck bestowed that straw hat on him. Obviously, ducks have exquisite taste!
There’s something very comforting to me about having these little bits of long ago as part of today. I know some people keep nothing from childhood, and I’m sure that has its own freedoms, but for me I like this little tidbits, these little threads of continuity.