Happy Days, 1954 Edition

One of my old children’s books, Happy Days with our Friends, is a student’s book that was published by Scott, Foresman and Company in 1954. It’s a  Primer in health and personal development geared toward the six-year old.  The illustrations on pages 30-31 remind me of when I helped my Mother with the laundry when I was that age. And, yes, we had a washing machine that looked just like that one illustrated in this book.



Written by Mary Gilmartin, November 2, 2015


November 2, 2015 · 1:39 pm

Children’s First Reader: Child Life 1913

Among my collection of vintage primers and first readers for children I came across one from 1913 called “Child Life, A First Reader.” Except for a few torn pages mended with tape, now turned brown, and some water stains the book is still in good condition.I really like this old book not only for the writing; but, for the beautifully illustrated drawings. (see illustrations below)




Written by Mary Gilmartin, June 7, 2015


June 7, 2015 · 3:56 pm

Farm Festivals, A Book by Will Carleton

Many of the earliest books for authors dating back before the 1900s are now becoming hard to find, but, fortunately a couple of years ago I found one with interesting illustrations dated 1882.


 Will Carleton (1845-1912) born in rural Lenawee County, Hudson, Michigan was an American Poet and probably best known for his poems about rural life. In 1869, he graduated from Hillsdale College and delivered on that occasion the poem, Rifts in the Cloud. His poem “Over the Hill to the Poor House” in 1872 was about developing the plight of the aged and those with indifferent families. This piece captured national attention and catapulted Carleton into literary prominence—a position he was to hold the rest of his life as he continued to write and to lecture from coast to coast.


The above illustration depicts the harvesting of peaches, but it reminds me of the apple orchard on a farm where I grew up.

Written by Mary Gilmartin, May 5, 2015


May 5, 2015 · 1:12 pm

Children’s Book: We Were Tired Of Living In A House

Today in my vast collection of  books I found an interesting 1969 edition by the Weekly Reader Children’s Book Club.


“We Were Tired Of Living In A House”  was written by Liesel Moak Skorpen, a German born author, and illustrated by Doris Burn who always wanted to live on an island.  I think the illustrations made by Doris Burn are great.  Even though I never created a home in a tree or lived in a cave when I was a child, I did spend many hours outdoors creating a magical childhood filled with play and imagination. And, afterwards I always returned to the best place to live and that was “in a house”.

Written by Mary Gilmartin, April 7, 2015


Filed under Art, Authors, Books

Art, Books and The Seashore

IMG_0054-cropA framed watercolor print by Edward Van Goethem now hangs on a wall in my office. It reminds me that Spring is scheduled to begin soon, March 20th, and I can hardly wait for the crowds to flock to the seashores and for longer days with warmer temperatures.  Whenever I find a drawing or a painting that I like I usually try to find out something about that person. But, my brief search only revealed this artist was possibly from Belgium and lived from 1857 to 1924.  One source for this watercolor stated that it may have been painted in Frinton-On-Sea, a small seaside town in the Trending District of Essex, England.  My thoughts are that it could have been painted On-The-Seashore located about anywhere and the children are perhaps an older brother and younger sister.  What a great place to stand and watch the waves at any age.  Anyone ready to go barefoot and walk on the sand by the sea?

One of my favorite stories when I was eight years old was “The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore”. Did you know that Laura Lee Hope is the pseudonym for numerous writers under the Stratemeyer Syndicate including Edward Stratemeyer (1862-1930) himself, his daughter Harriet Stratemeyer Adams (1892-1982), Howard Roger Garis (1873–1962), and his wife Lilian McNamara Garis (d.1954) who wrote the Bobbsey Twins juvenile series. Laura Lee Hope was first used as a pseudonym in 1904 for the debut of the Bobbsey Twins and the author/s for the Bunny Brown series (20 vols. 1916-1931).

Written by Mary Gilmartin, February 28, 2015


Filed under Art, Books