I was reading an article in the most recent Mary Engelbreit magazine, Home Companion, about Little Golden Books. I am in that age bracket that grew up reading those little books and loving them! My two favorites were Home for a Bunny and Mr. Dog. My first really “good” sketches, when I was in elementary school, were those duplicating the animals in Home for a Bunny.
About 20 years ago, when my son was about 3 or 4 years old, we were visiting my parents in Minnesota, and I read in the local paper that illustrator Garth Williams was going to be at Walnut Grove for a book signing. Walnut Grove, for those of you who don’t get out much, was the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie series. Garth Williams did the illustrations for her books, as well as those for the popular Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.
Not wanting to miss a chance to meet one of my favorite childhood artists, I borrowed my dad’s old car, plopped my son in his car seat and drove several hours across Minnesota to Walnut Grove. That was back in my adventurous days! It took longer than I thought, and we arrived just as Mr. Williams was packing up to leave! He was so gracious, and stayed a while longer, talking about his history with Little Golden Books, and signing my copy of Mr. Dog. I’ll never forget that! I read recently that Garth Williams passed away in 1996, but he will live on in his wonderful illustrations, for generations to come!
After meeting with the artist, my son and I took a walk around Walnut Grove, a very nice little town. We went into a little antique shop, where I discovered a neat little vintage table lamp, by the artist Ida Lee, that I have to this day. After a little ice cream and exercise, it was back in the old car, for the long drive home. Thank goodness, my little boy loved to ride in the car, because going anywhere in Minnesota back then, seemed like a day trip!
And now, I am going to the basement, to see if I can find the box of Little Golden Books I saved for the next generation. I might have to have a cup of tea and re read them all again!!!
I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering. Steven Wright
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. Edgar Allan Poe