Monday, 22 August 2011

There Must Be Magic

I can't post any photos of my latest wee project as it's a birthday present for my brother and I only mailed it off this afternoon (only a week late!).  So just in case he happens to check this blog I'll wait till he gets it before I share it here!

So instead I thought I'd indulge my childish side...
I have so many favourite childhood books - from preschool right through to Lord of the Rings and Anne of Green Gables but the preschool books all tend to have one major thing in common - beautiful illustrations!  My mum loved children's book illustrations and even when we were too old to buy for she would still often come home with different examples she'd picked up in charity shops.  When we moved to London I really couldn't bring all my books with me so many boxes of books were consigned to my Dad's garage.  Every time I go back up now I go through a few more boxes of stuff, clear some out, and invariably bring some back down with me!  This one came down the last time and it has so many happy memories.  I've realised upon reading it again on Saturday that I can still hear my mum's voice in my head, reading this aloud to me and for that reason alone this book is very important to me.

Aren't the title and the cover illustration just wonderful?! There Must Be Magic.  Because of course, to all children the world is full of magic!  I've recently been reading a number of books -  Buddhist, Zen and mediation related - and they all talk about the importance of getting back this childlike wonder with the world.  Well, these words and illustrations do it for me every time so I thought I would share a few of them.

 The book is called 'There Must be Magic - First Poems for Children'.  The illustrations were by John Overmyer and the poems were selected by Arthur Wortman.  'Otherwise' the poem containing the title of the book is by Aileen Fisher and one of my other favourites from the book is 'Happy Thought' by Robert Louis Stevenson.

I'm going back up to visit my family in Scotland next weekend and I'm sure my Dad and his wife would be happy if I gave them back some more of their garage (maybe even enough that they could fit their car in!) so I may just have to bring some more children's books back down with me.

Did anyone else have this book? What were your favourite children's books? What ones have you held on to above all others?


  1. Ooh, The Tiger Who Came to Tea would have to be one. Along with Phoebe and the Hotwater Bottles (I think I always liked a strong female protagonist in my reading matter!). But I also had a very old copy of Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses in which I loved "The Swing", as I had one in our garden which I loved playing on. I'm pretty sure I have the book of poems saved, and I might have stopped my mum giving away Phoebe to my cousin when she was very young, about 14 years ago!

  2. I hadn't heard of Phoebe and the Hotwater Bottles - seems I missed out as it sounds really good! That's funny about the 'Child's Garden of Verses' as I'm keeping my fingers crossed that's one of the ones that's still in the garage.

    The Tiger Who Came to Tea is so good! I'd really like to get to see the exhibition of Judith Kerr's work at the V&A Museum of Childhood - it shuts on 4th september though so not sure I'll make it unfortunately.