On Giants' Shoulders

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Puzzle

This is a puzzle for those of you who read old children's books. It's actually more of a query on my part. When I was a young child my mother used to read books to us about animals. Some of them were Thornton Burgess's animal stories, and I'm not sure whether the ones I'm thinking of were in that collection or not. I rather think not, although some of the character names were the same, as I recall. The stories I'm thinking about had very strong morals and included a rabbit who clapped his hands together when he was in danger. When he did so a Fairy named Joy would appear and come to his rescue. These books were a delight to me when I was young, but by the time my children appeared I could no longer find them, nor could I remember their titles. I wonder whether any of you homeschoolers who read old books to your children have ever encountered them or whether any of you older readers might be familiar with them.

When my kids were growing up we didn't have accesss to the Burgess books for the most part, and the ones I was able to locate certainly didn't have these stories in them.

I know, I know, I should have asked my mother nearly 30 years ago. In my defense I'd just discovered books like Make Way For Ducklings, Little House on the Prairie, Paddington Bear, and the Narnia Chronicles. Somehow Uncle Wiggly, and the Burgess books never made it onto our list.

So can anyone help me out here? I'm also on a search for a book I do know the name of (Clematis) about an orphan girl. That was another one my mother read to us. She had a propensity for reading late Victorian literature (think Beautiful Joe, Black Beauty, and Elsie Dinsmore). Probably I wouldn't find any of this particularly enchanting now, but I do still remember that rabbit clapping his hands.

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