Sunday, November 13, 2011

Science Books

As a child I loved science books especially anything dealing with nature.
Two of my favourites were the The How and Why Wonder Books, and
A Golden Science Guide series from Golden Press I still pick them
up whenever I see them and one day I will have to sit down order
a few more. I still like to flip through them. I understand that the
information is out of date and that the internet has lots of sources.
But for me books will always be key and I still have many books I
pored through as a child. Also the internet has perhaps too much
information. Talking to a friend the other day we reminisced
about the eye popping pictures that could be provided by a
National Geographic article on New Guinea. For children with
no internet and 2  or 3 TV channels showing westerns, musical
variety shows and hockey this was a real revelation.

Remembering my love of these books and some of my other
much loved toys (a favourite memory is a birthday cake covered
with plastic dinosaurs) I now give family children Papo Dinosaurs
( these are great, really detailed ) and the book Dinosaurs by John Long.

My old friend the White-Tailed Jack Rabbit.

When the information is out dated because of recent discoveries
I can take it in stride. When the changes are the results of our
own diminishing of the world we live in I have more trouble
accepting it. I think, in my childhood I perceived may things as eternal
at least for my life time. It appears that will not be the case.

"Summer fading, winter comes--
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.

Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books.

All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children's eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.

We may see how all things are
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies' looks,
In the picture story-books.

How am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books?"
                                                  Picture-books in Winter
                                                                    Robert Louis Stevenson



Kathiesbirds said...

Guy, I too, fear that the love of storybooks will soon be lost. I had no internet, computer or color TV when I was young. I did not have a transistor radio like so many kids my age did. Instead, I lived outside and learned through the World Book encyclopedia. So much knowledge between those pages! I do not mind outdated books either. It is interesting to see how things have changed and sometimes to read old wisdom that has gone out of date but is still real and true.

BTW, I have never read this poem by Stevenson either. I am much more familiar with "The Swing." I like the innocence of his poems, something that is lost on most people today. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

I had forgotten about them. Thanks for the reminder.

Guy said...

Hi Kathie
Thanks for your thoughtful comments, I really appreciated them.
I have been rereading the books of Wendell Berry who writes a great deal about how things change over time whether is the death of small towns, mules replaced by cars etc. it always reminds me of how things have changed in my life time. I think it is natural to see the world then as innocence or simpler even if it was not. We tend to forget the bad, TD or Polio or racism and remember the things we enjoyed things, that gave us stability. Change is inevitable but I think it is important to cherish the things we loved when times get tough and to maybe try to pass some of them along. I think we need balance, we cannot not ignore problems, but too much reality will only overwhelm and discourage us. Books and nature have been important sanctuaries for me when “ The world is too much with us”.


Guy said...

Hi Sandy

I hope it brought back some good memories.