Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dick, Jane & Bill (Bryson)

If you've had a look at "Kitti's Book List" this week, then you already know how crazy I am about Bill Bryson.

And if you took a look at my Fortnightly Literary Blog post yesterday, then you already know that from the word "Go" ("Ride" "See" "Come"), I was a true believer in My Little Red Story Book.

Thus you won't be surprised to hear that however much I liked Bryson before, I liked him even more when I realized that, like me, he too had been a sucker for the "better than real" world that existed on the pages of all the little reading books.

Like the outdated Tom, Betty & Susan books that I adored, Bryson's Dick, Jane & Sally books "were ten or fifteen years old" and "depicted a world that was already gone." Like me, Bryson found this world "enchanting" and loved the books so much that he found a way to take home a set (he found a stack of "spares in the cloakroom").

Bryson confesses to still looking at his old books from time to time, wondering, even now, if he will ever find this family, "so wonderfully, fascinatingly different from my own"(148). I thought maybe I was the only one who did that -- but, no! Bryson too! For more, see Bryson's memoir, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid (145 - 148).


Illustrations by Ruth Steed, from My Little Red Story Book, 1948

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