by Amanda Wells
We have one storybook on our shelves that this Mommy reaches for again and again when called upon to read to my little women. Thankfully, it seems to be their favorite to have me read to them, and we can get lots of enjoyment out of this one volume. The title? Eloise Wilkin Stories.
This is a gem I purchased on a whim when Tirzah was quite small with a good coupon. I had no idea how much we were going to love this book!
When I thumbed through it the first time I was delighted to find classics I remember from my own childhood—Baby Dear, We Help Mommy, My Little Golden Book About God—complete with the gentle, beautiful original illustrations.
Tirzah loved the whole book right away. Reading it to her again today I remembered how many little things she did as a wee girl as a result of our story times—calling her sweater “buttons in a row!” because of Baby Looks or getting into her own bed and declaring “just like Timmy!” from Busy Timmy. Yes, beyond the pastel colors and chubby-kneed babies, this book tugs at my heartstrings for reasons of my own. And within these sea-green hard covers lie the only longer stories my Mia will sit still for!
The other thing I just adore about these 50’s-era stories is how much they line up with our life so much better than many a modern book that would look nothing like our family. On these pages God is loved and worshiped. Mommies stay home cooking, wearing aprons and “smiling very often”; while Daddies go to work and come home in the evening, and tenderly tuck their children into bed. Little children play with dollies and sandboxes, make “treats for Daddy”, have chores and spend their day near Mommy. Babies are around and are sang and talked to—”Mommy says this is how our babies know they’re the most wonderful babies in the world.” I did have to explain to Tirzah that milkmen don’t visit our homes anymore (sadly!), but otherwise it’s entirely relevant for our family. Our old blue highchair even looks just like the one “Baby” uses!
Add to all this a peek into a world I long to have been a part of—clothing, houses, interior design (someday I will decorate a room in the blue & white scheme of baby’s nursery in Baby Dear, ball-trim curtains and all!)—I love it all. And though I’ve memorized many of the stories through repeated readings, but I don’t tire of it. It’s a restful place to land for a bit, to enjoy other families in another time, living life just like us.