This week I found my favorite childhood picture book. The pages are ragged. The covers are long gone. I don’t know the title or the author. But Belinda is still there traveling through the forest, swimming to the lake bottom, and ascending to the moon and sun to find a friend. It’s hard to imagine my joy when the long-lost book popped off the closet shelf, hidden under another item. For years I thought I had lost this book that has moved with me all my adult life.
What is it about a book that makes us treasure it? It can be a strong character, a theme, beautiful language or stunning illustrations. Belinda’s story is told in a late 1940’s or early ‘50’s picture book. The illustrations are tinted photographs, which were probably new in this genre. The book my have been the only one I had with these life-like, lavishly colored pictures. Belinda is Jane’s wooden doll searching for a companion, and she finally finds one back in the wood shop when Jane’s dad makes another doll, Todd. I think the theme of finding what one searches for and the illustrations both made this the childhood book I am thrilled to find. Now for the title and author!