Saturday, May 1, 2010

Where Was I?

Oh, right, I had just found two of my favorite, but elusive, childhood books.

I had them within days of finding them on Ebay. The pictures were so familiar, it was as though I had seen them yesterday, not over 45 years ago.

The picture of the little girl looking out the window in The Little Ballerina was especially memorable. I have no idea why. Maybe because I wanted a dog.

The story goes along about her weak legs (never mentioning polio) and how ballet could strengthen them.

Bosh, I wanted to tell her. You'll have more fun watching Howdy Doody.

But she triumphs at the end, as the Ice Princess. Blah, blah, blah. Unlike me who, as Dopey, brought the house down, to my eternal mortification.

Hmmmm. Why the heck did I like this book so much, anyway?

I think the pictures were engaging and she had several things I wanted: a dog, gracefulness, a dad who looked and acted like Ward Cleaver and that awesome picture window.

And it is a story of overcoming obstacles, which have always appealed to me.

A Doll for Marie was special because she had my name!! There were lots of Mary's, Margaret's, Susan's and Anne's in my school, but no Marie. So I was hooked.

The doll in question is a valuable antique that Marie looks at every day in the store window (I drew a circle around the doll in the window. On the photo in the computer, not in the actual book. Really, just to see if I could. It is quite a good circle.) It's the classic lonely doll/lonely girl/will they ever come together plot.

The doll eventually gets sold. A spoiled dog runs off with it and another dog wrestles him for her in the street.

When Marie finds her, she's a wreck.

But Marie carefully restores her and pampers her and presumably they live happily ever after.

This book is a library edition and hand written inside is 'retired 6/90'. I can never understand that. I know room has to made for new books all the time. But it seems like such a waste for a nice little story like this.

I loved it and I am glad I have them both back in my life.


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