So Many Books

Dec 08, 2022 by Rose O'Keefe

The settings in the countryside and barn were beautifully described. The language was at times exquisite, as when a hungry Miss Hickory followed a stream and wondered, who taught it to sing? The Christmas Eve gathering of the animals that Miss Hickory missed most of by being late, was magical. The way her stubbornness caused her problems was humbling. It had one of the most imaginative and uplifting endings I have ever read!

Next, I read Bailey’s, The Little Rabbit Who Wanted Red Wings, from 1931. It was clever and the 1978 edition had marvelous and fun illustrations. Her True Stories of Early American Toys and Children from 1937; Children of the Handcrafts from 1941; and, Pioneer Art in America from 1944, were collections of a stories set in times when people made what they used by hand. The characters faced hardships, in well-described settings, full of amazing detail. They addressed conflicts with a nostalgic glow that sometimes wore thin. Then I read through Bailey’s Country Stop from 1942. It had plenty of illustrations and the kind of large print that made for an enjoyable quick read. In it, the main character, Ann and her country family and neighbors faced small-town challenges, some more light-hearted than others. The story of Ann’s friend Timothy making her a corncob doll house, made the Country Stop stories a prequel to the dollhouse and doll that appeared in Miss Hickory. The extra magic in Miss Hickory, gave it sunshine and humor that set it above the others. There are so many books and I have only so many bookshelves, but this little gem is one I want to own.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all involved with the December issue of City: News. Arts. Life. This colorful issue hit the spot with interviews, overviews, reviews, and listing of things to do and places to go. It made my feel like Rochester is coming back from the big slump. Very satisfying.

I’ve almost finished a tough edit of my pending historical non-fiction e-book, All Rights for All, about abolition and other human rights in the 19th century. What an effort! I have a proof coming back shortly. Having that weight off my shoulders is a big relief.

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