Winter book review…

Today’s favorite looks like a children’s book. But it’s not….. really.

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Our Miss Boo, by Margaret Lee Runbeck,  has line drawing illustrations by Peggy Bacon. The book came home with me from a local thrift store last spring. Old library bindings always catch my attention.

You’d expect it to be a children’s book. It’s rather short and simply written. The illustrations ( or “decorations”) make it look like it’s aimed at a child. But it really has much more to say to adults.. The little volume is a lovely reminder of the sweetness of childhood and the joy of simply living.

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Ms. Runbeck’s language is often tongue-in-cheek and always captivating. One sentence and you are transported into her world.  I found myself rationing the book…… one chapter each night, and looking forward to the next with childlike anticipation.

“What we wanted, really, was a house, and not a baby.      But the architect drew her into the plans.”

 

The adventure of parenthood begins here. There is a quality of serendipity in this story. The unexpected turns of life that define our journey….the joy of seeing the world through a child’s heart. I loved the atmosphere in Miss Boo’s house…. and I wished I could stay longer.

My take-home? Don’t ever outgrow wonder. Slow down and savor the moment. Always a good reminder.

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Sitting there at my desk, unaware and precious, she outweighed all the unanswered questions, and the uselessness and sorrow, and I thought:

“Of all the dear sights in the world, nothing is so beautiful as a child when it is giving something. Any small thing it gives. A child gives the world to you…it opens the world for you as if it were a book you’d never been able to read.

….a child has so little that it can give, because it never knows it has given you everything…”

 

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Original library card

Cynthia commented on Goodreads.com, “I think this is one of those magical books that make you pause and see things differently. I’m in awe of the author who wrote this lovely little parenting manual in 1942…..”

I completely agree! The little book HAD me from the very first sentence! Generally I place these vintage gems up for sale on my Etsy shop at Fromthemousenest.etsy.com. But this one….I just can’t part with it. Miss Boo has earned a spot in my permanent collection.

 

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Miss Boo

 

If I had a little lamb, I’d take such care of him. I’d tie him at night under the butternut tree. And he’d never get lost. And if he was hungry I’d say to him, “Eat, my little lamb. Eat moon-beams and butternuts.”

 

Find a copy and read it….but you can’t take mine!

 

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