Recently, I have been a treasure hunter.
Essentially, this roughly translates to trawling through Trademe and second hand stores to find picture books that I loved when I was little.
I had pretty extensive collection as Little-Jessica, which I would read, and re-read on a regular basis.
Sometimes it was something about the story I adored, other times it was the pictures. My mum and dad would buy me loads of books, but the local library I went to in Browns Bay when I was small would often sell off some of their second hand books out the front for like 50 cents.
Thus far, I’ve scored an enormous amount of Sesame Street books, because who didn’t have those? Sure they’re tattered, and crinkled, and not exactly in their prime, but they have that loveliness that old nostalgic books do.
The soft feel of their hand cover, the matte pages within that are admittedly a little bent, but somehow sturdier than lots of the picture books today.
My favorite of the Sesame Street books – excluding Christmas ones, because obviously I love them ten million times more – is Bert and the Broken Teapot. Basically the story of Bert (from Bert and Ernie fame) when he gets a job at a local store and breaks the manager’s favourite teapot.
Then there were the Mouse books.
Oh my goodness the Mouse books, that have the little pop ups and flaps to discover more adorable cuteness! I don’t own many of these books because they are a mission to find, but I have written a review previously about my favourite one, which is ‘Mouse Wedding’.
Check out the cuteness.
These are by Michelle Cartlidge by the way.
Another very special collection of books for me were the Little Critter books, my very favourite of which was ‘I Just Forgot!’ – which I don’t own, so if you want to buy it for me, you’re totally welcome!
I love ‘I Just Forgot!’ because I 100% understand the situation of the main character.
I am awful at remembering things, so the little critter constantly forgetting odds and ends was absolutely the story of my life.
These are by Mercer Mayer and they’re the best.
Then of course there’s Richard Scarry who we will recognize from some Golden Books, but also from various other collections of equally brilliantly illustrated stories.
I am still very much trying to get a hold of these too, so again… if you want to gift me books, this is a good starting point!
There are squillions of other books I have no doubt forgotten to mention, because seriously, my collection was pretty tremendous.
The problem was that my Mum is a primary school teacher, and she has progressively gifted all of my picture books away to her school… so this is why I am a treasure hunter now.
I’d love to hear about any books you read as a kid, and whether it was the stories or the illustrations that you loved – Oh my gosh! The Giant Jam Sandwich, that’s another one… I’ll talk about that later.