Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Story Time.

I've always loved books. Nothing makes me happier than spending hours in a bookstore...that papery bookstore smell? Heaven.

Despite growing up in Flint, Michigan (yes, THAT Flint Michigan) I was fortunate to have an amazing collection of elementary school teachers who really instilled in me a love of reading. One of my top fave teachers was, hands down, my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Kibridge. She would read to us constantly and took us on frequent trips to the library. The coolest thing was her Reading Bathtub. It was an old claw foot tub in our class room, decorated with groovy Flower Power stickers and filled with soft, comfy pillows. If you finished your class work on time, you'd earn the honor of getting to select a book and lounge in the Reading Tub. AWESOME!

When I went home recently I was poking around and found a stash of our childhood books. My mom thankfully saved them along with lots of other toys (hello Fisher Price Castle! And she wonders where my obsessive collecting/inability to throw things away comes from, eh?). In the midst of everything I found these amazing little German story books called Pixi Bucher. These are the four that I brought back to Cali:

I should explain that my mother is from Germany (a beautiful city called Würzburg). I feel so lucky because she often read or sang to us in German—and of course we spoke alot of German around the house, especially when we visited my favorite aunt and uncle, Tante Maria & Onkle Max.

The books are only about 3 inches wide, and are filled with the most charming little illustrations. These images areall  from the Pixi Buch entitled "Hänschen Klein: Die schönsten Kinderlieder" (a collection of sweet little children's songs). Look at that adorable little foxy...ahhhhh! It's killing me how sweet he is! And those flower thingies with the caterpillar? C'mon now...

One of my favorite things to do with Wolfie is read stories. It was so sweet, as soon as he saw these he wanted me to read them to him. While my German is reeeeally rusty, he was completely engaged and never once asked "Why are you speaking like that mama?" The power of illustration! There are some pretty great new books out there, but I find that older stories are almost always the best—and I especially love sharing my favorite childhood books with him. I've slowly built a pretty great collection of vintage children's books (from the 60s and 70s), some my originals, the rest snagged at thrift stores and garage sales. I'm thinking this might have to be a fun weekly feature....what do you think? Wanna see more of my collection? Maybe we can have a special Story Time Tuesdays...whaddya say friends?

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  1. those are adorable!

    oliver finally stumbled across a children's book i bought in germany about 10 years ago and he thinks it's HILARIOUS when i say things in german to him. automatic belly laugh. i'm surprised he knows the difference enough to get a kick out of it.

  2. Ooh, yes please share more books from your collection! These are wonderful! I so rarely see children's books from Europe and I'm sure your other books are special too.

  3. I'd love a weekly storytime! :o)

  4. At the age of five, I lived in American Occupied Germany, and attended kindergarten there. I learned to sing Hanschen klein, and even have a recording of myself and another girl singing it. My mother told me what the song was about, but I've never seen the words until now. This is very precious to me.

  5. Hi Carter! Aw that makes me happy! I just realized that i sized those photos for my old blog format and they are now cutting off. I'll have to repost them so you can see the whole photo!