Monday, 14 September 2015

Guest Post by Bish Denham - Author of Anansi and A Lizard's Tail


I'm thrilled to be doing a guest post on Barbara's beautiful blog. Because it's all about books I wanted to share a few of my favorite childhood memories.

I can tell you, having growing up in the Caribbean, that the tropics are not kind to books. Unless you have an air conditioned, climate controlled room, you can expect your books to deteriorate or be destroyed due to mold, bugs, humidity, or storms.


That I have books from my childhood that survived not only the tropics, but me, is something of a miracle. They are battered and worn, not only baring the scars of being well read but showing the signs of having lived in less than optimal conditions.




Stories That Never Grow Old
Eloise
Pinocchio

It was obvious to me that the blank white pages at the front and back of books were there for me to draw on.

Stories That Never Grow Old has the most of my artistic endeavors.

Grimm's Fairy Tales
 Andersen's Fairy Tales

 I love the end paper and the illustrations in this collection of Andersen's tales.


The Princess and Curdie shows all the signs of having been chewed on by bugs.

The Scarecrow of Oz
The Princess and Curdie




I recovered my beloved copy of A Child's Garden of Verses, along with the World of Pooh and the World of Christopher Robin, rendering them completely valueless



Little Brother and Little Sister, illustrated by Arthur Rackham and published in 1917, is another book I recovered to keep the pages from completely falling out. The paper is not acid free and every year they are a little more brown, a little more brittle.





A Doorway in Fairyland by Laurence Housman has exquisite black and while illustrations.

Many of which I thought needed to be colored, so of course I did 

I treasure these books. The scars they bare are a testament to the fact that they were well read and well loved.


Bish Denham was raised in the U. S. Virgin Islands. Her family has lived in the Caribbean for over one hundred years and she still has plenty of family there whom she visits regularly.

She says, "Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book. Columbus named the islands, Sir Francis Drake sailed through the area, and Alexander Hamilton was raised on St. Croix. Then there were the pirates who plied the waters. Life for me was magical, and through my writing I hope to pass on some of that magic."

She is the author of Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Folk Tales and the novel, A Lizard's Tail, both of which are available on Amazon.

You can find her hanging out here:
Twitter: @BishDenham


Dear Bish, all those childhood memories wrapped up in the pages of your books are priceless  - not worthless at all. Thank you for sharing the images and for taking the time to write the post.  I know readers of this blog will enjoy it as much as I did. Barbara x

38 comments:

  1. Awesome post, Barbara, thank you so much for sharing. They just don't make stories and books like they used to! Fond childhood memories. :)

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    1. You're right, Linda. Each book is packed with its own set of memories!

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    2. Hi Linda, I was more than pleased to share this lovely guest post. Barbara

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  2. It's no secret....I~don't~read~books....!
    No Patience see....But, l'm pleased to read
    that someone else, coloured in B/W pages
    in books...I also thought that's what they were
    there for..! :). And, the blank pages at the beginning
    and at the end..were for drawing on..!

    But...I still have a lot of my daughters old books about
    the place...Ladybird books..l have 239 of them. Care bears,
    Mr Men, Thomas the Tank...etc..etc.And they are still read,
    HeHe! by me...Love the Care Bears! Just a few pages, just
    enough! :).

    I used to like changing titles to....
    'The Grimm World of the Brothers Wonderful'.
    So..I like books with loads of illustrations.....
    And, some are truly amazing...!
    And, yes, old books should be treasured.....
    Whether you read them or not...!

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    1. HA! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who colored and drew pictures in books! I bet there are more of us too!

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  3. That copy of Scarecrow of OZ certainly caught my attention! I have an edition of Baum's fourteen Oz books from sometime around the mid 60s ... they've held up pretty well, considering how many times I carted them around during my rereading.

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    1. I LOVE the Oz books! It's wonderful to know you have the whole series. There are many people who don't realize Baum wrote more than "The Wizard of Oz." Hang on to them.

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    2. No way would I not hold onto them--I plan to write my own Oz book one day, when I can fit it in between my other writing. The funny thing is, as much of an Oz book fan as I was, I never realized there were dozens more written after Baum died until I was in my early 20s.

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    3. I knew about the second series by Ruth Plumly Thompson, but I never did care for them as well.

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  4. It is so great that you still have all these precious books from your childhood. I still have The Bobbsie Twins in Mexico given to me by my Grade 3 teacher and Little Women given to me by a dear aunt. I have dragged them with me to Spain. A great post!

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    1. I hear you about dragging books around. Some of mine have traveled with me from the Caribbean to various places across the USA until settling here in Texas.

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  5. Wonderful to see your treasured books from childhood! I have a few with scribbles in them, too. :)

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    1. Those white pages are just too tempting NOT to be used to drawn and color on!

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  6. Two of my favourite children's books are Garden of Verses and Christopher Robin. I live in a tropical country as well so I fully understand how quickly books yellow and adopt brown spots and fall apart.

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    1. I still many of the poems by heart, both Stevenson's and Milne's!

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  7. Good morning! I am very late to this book reading....is there still a space for me? Oh how I love these classics and so very nice to meet you!

    Hello dearest Barbara! I hope you are enjoying the turn of the season. Much love, Anita

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    1. It's NEVER to late to join the party! Thanks for stopping by.

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    2. Hello Anita, I am indeed! Have you changed your blog address? I’ve been trying to visit you for a while now but keep being told your blog no longer exists? xx

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  8. Oh my goodness, what a lovely nostalgic read. I can imagine it was wonderful to write, to recapture all the wonderful memories that Bish no doubt has.

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    1. It WAS from to right, Tracy. I have several other books, but there just wasn't room for all.

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    2. I coulden't agree more Tracy, I just love this post.

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  9. Many thanks to Bish and Barbara for an entertaining post. I'm so pleased that you've admitted to 'augmenting' your childhood books, Bish - I'm guilty, too. I coloured in most of the pictures in Winnie the Pooh. Worse still, I had a bad habit of tearing a corner off each page as I read it. But I'd rather have my tatty old coloured and torn versions than a pristine brand new copy!

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    1. Sue, I'm so pleased to know I'm not the only one to "personalize" books. They hold so many memories. New copies are for new kids to personalize in their own way.

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  10. Oh my goodness, we had some of the same books and I still have the Anderson's & Grimm Fairy-tales book. I loved the Scarecrow of Oz and my paperback version of a Child's Garden of Verses was something I think I tried memorizing! Glad to see Barbara's friends have such great taste in books!

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    1. I like to think it means our childhoods were connected and even though we grew up in other places and never met, we had similar likes and are not so very different. :)

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  11. Childhood can be revisited each time we open a much-loved book! What a delightful post xxx

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    1. That is so true! And each book has it's own set of memories.

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  12. How wonderful that some of your favorites survived! I was an adult before I owned my first book of Fairy Tales. Buying books for my boys meant the world to me, all children should own books, and pages to draw on should always be included! Lovely!

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    1. Even though you were an adult before you owned your first book of fairy tales, I say, better late than never. And it's a wonderful thing that you're able to pass on the wonder to your boys.

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  13. What a lovely post. Childhood books hold so many memories ... I have several that I could never bear to part with.

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    1. I know when I'm gone, no will care about these books. But while I'm still here, I intend to keep them. :)

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  14. What a lovely collection! I to find the illustrations so irresistible! Never had such beauties as a child, but now as I run across them, I buy them up sometimes to sell in my shop, but often I end up keeping them, because they are just to precious to part with!

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  15. Bish your lovely post brings back many memories for me. I too had many b/w books. They were so inviting for colouring for kids. I remember colouring piglet and Christopher Robin. Sadly I don't have any of my books with me now.sigh!

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  16. Loved hearing from Bish and getting to see the books that survived her childhood. I can imagine that the Caribbean would be tough on books. I know I ruined quite a few of my own books growing up. Nice to have them and the memories. :) Thanks for sharing, Bish and Barbara.

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  17. Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment and to Bish for sharing this lovely post, Barbara.

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  18. Nice. I enjoyed reading this post. I'd be heartbroken if any of my dear books were damaged, so no Caribbean for me. A Child's Garden of Verses is one of my fav books too. Very interesting post today.

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  19. Great post, Bish! I have that edition of Andersen's Fables- the illustrations are brilliant! :) ~ Jess

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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