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Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Little Stevenson

The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.

Robert Louis got it right so many times, so simply and straightforwardly. Is there anything like A Child's Garden of Verse for the present young generation? I know my own childhood would have been--even my adult life would be--much poorer had my parents not introduced me to these verses. Thinking of this reminds me that I need to re-order the book, in whatever version is currently available. And there--I've often thought how much fun it would be to collect as many versions as possible, since so many illustrators have added their visions to Stevenson's verse. Perhaps that's a project for my old age (not to say "retirement," a concept well beyond my imagination).


Gerry said...

Some of my best memories are of reading to Rob the Firefighter, and exploring wonderful illustrations together. Sometimes the stories would be strong, sometimes the pictures were so good we didn't care. We'd make up our own stories.

P. J. Grath said...

That's nice, Gerry. I was the oldest of three girls and have similar memories.

dmarks said...

"Treasure Island" is the only one I remember, alas.

P. J. Grath said...

You can't beat TREASURE ISLAND for excitement, dmarks. That's a great one to have under your belt, as it were. Our family was very big on the short little verses, however, and every family member could be counted on to recite "I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me" at the drop of a hat. We weren't terribly highbrow.

Anonymous said...

We have that very book!
"I have a little shadow
that goes in and out with me.
and what can be the use of him
is more than I can see..." You've brought back some memories!

P. J. Grath said...

The verse in the collection that baffled me so as a child was "The Land of Counterpane." From the picture I could see that the child was in bed, but 'counterpane' was not a word in my vocabulary. Glad to trigger memories for you, Kathy.