Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Run to "My Book House"

As a mother and now a grandmother I know it's never too soon to introduce your child or grandchild to the best the world has to offer in the way of books and art. (Okay, not a mother or grandmother yet? Stay with me here, unless you have absolutely no interest in children or books A-tal!) If you do, run--don't walk--to find your nearest collection of "My Book House" (unless, of course, you have your own personal frog who can carry you there).
C. S. Lewis said, "if a book is worth reading at 5 it should be worth reading at 50". That quote has inspired me to become a collector of children's books as well as all the other kinds of tomes the world has to offer. Starting a child out early loving the printed word and picture is a worthy task for any mother/grandmother. Giving them a desire for books--great books--is a goal which will equip them in their pursuit and love of learning for the rest of their life.
"My Book House" is a simply wonderful series of children's books that are copyrighted as far back as 1920 and were edited by Olive Beaupre Miller. She obviously had good taste. (The last sets were printed in 2000, but look for the older volumes. There are six to twelve volumes, depending on the year.)  Miller did her utmost to provide children with rich content not only in picture but in word as well.  Her choice of colors, authors, material and artists put her in a class of her own as an editor.

Her own words describe the value of the collection best:
In My BOOK HOUSE, I have tried to give children the best in literature, gathered from the greatest authors of the past and present, and from our rich heritage of old folk tales, told from generation to generation in every country in the world. But I have selected those stories with care. Avoiding those tales where evil traits of character, such as lying and cheating to gain one's ends, have been made to appear good, I have chosen only those where truly desirable qualities invite the child's admiration. I have tried also to grade all this material as wisely as possible, that the child might have the right story at the right age, and to put it forth so beautifully illustrated that it would be irresistable to him. Here, in these twelve volumes, adult and child can enter, hand-in-hand, a wonderful realm of imagination and beauty, portrayed in the best literary forms of verse and prose....

"The permanent value of My BOOK HOUSE arises from the fact that at the time of its inception, I had no pet theory of education to advance.... I was in search of fundamentals, simple fundamentals, which must remain eternally true. Chaos then existed and is, unfortunately, still permitted to exist, in the realm of reading for children. They were being given stories, ethically sound, all jumbled up with those where the ethical slant was bad, and stories for the older children were being read to the child when he was too young, overwhelming him with fright and confusion by presenting to him characters and situations far beyond his understanding at the moment. Out of this chaos I was trying to bring order, an order that could never be disturbed. So let me review a few basic principles, with which I emerged from my search and on which I built My BOOK HOUSE.

"First,--To be well equipped for life, to have ideas and the ability to express them, the child needs a broad background of familiarity with the best in literature.

"Second,--His stories and rhymes must be selected with care that he may absorb no distorted view of life and its actual values, but may grow up to be mentally clear about values and emotionally impelled to seek what is truly desirable and worthwhile in human living.

"Third,--The stories and rhymes selected must be graded to the child's understanding at different periods of his growth, graded as to vocabulary, as to subject matter and as to complexity of structure and plot.

"On those three simple fundamentals My BOOK HOUSE was built."

I've often told my children they will never be able to devour all the great books available, so why spend one moment on the mundane or unworthy trash that's out there? If true then, how much more so nowSo, what are you waiting for!  Hop on your frog NOW and find this amazing set of children's books! 

The End!


  1. Hello my friend,

    I just went over to Amazon and ordered the set! Thanks for the recommendation. I'm eager to start reading these to my grandsons.

    Great job on the blog....


    Carol in Oregon

  2. And I've been missing you, truly-- and thinking of you. I know you'll love the books. If you don't, I'll buy them. I've decide blogging is like taking pain meds--it dulls the pain. Thank you for the kind words.


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