Thursday, December 20, 2018

Tip Toe Days -- A Children's Book -- The Secret Lives of Books

Good Morning to you!
It's only a few days 'til Christmas and my kids are on needles and pins for the big day! All but one---five year old Brenna turns six tomorrow and she's more excited about her birthday and the special ballet I'm taking her to than she is about Christmas!
Recently I was shopping in my favorite NW Arkansas flea market, The Rose Antique Store in Rogers, and I came across this sweet book, Tip Toe Days. Shockingly, the price tag was $3.05!! I would have paid five times that and thought I got a deal, but who's arguing?

Someone has recently and lovingly stitched up the binding as best they could, and stuck whatever missing pages could be found into their right places. There are some missing pages from the end, leaving off at the first page of the story of The Three Trees. My mom gifted me a modern retelling of that story one year for Christmas.

This must be a rare book as I couldn't find its title or the cover image anywhere online! 
This book gives up two secrets to its past life: first, the book is inscribed with the phrase, "Belonged to Eugene Cecile Davis. He was born in 1882". While there's no publication date in this book, others I've seen online that are bound similarly were published between 1893 and 1900. However, 11 years old seems awfully late in life for a little boy to read a story book like this. Especially in those early days where boys carried a bigger load at an earlier age. I'm going to go with 1890 on this one since, while the illustrations are juvenile, the stories are quite complexly written for a young child to read.

The second secret this book revealed was this beautiful photo print. It's signed, Sincerely Yours Ann Eliza Young. It was stuck into this book in this spot---and there it will remain!

Further detective work by a reader found Mrs. Young to be one of Brigham Young's former wives. Wikipedia gives a very interesting biography of this author/activist. It's well worth a read!

Oh, actually, I suppose there are three secrets in this book. Here's a piece of notebook paper---without the holes. I have no idea of its vintage, but loose leaf, blue lined paper was invented in 1914 so who knows? Anyone out there use paper like this back in the day?

The book is full of sweet stories and illustrations---the first being this Christmas story about a precocious girl named Charlotte who was called "Charlie" due to, "certain propensities that were more properly suited to a boy than to a girl." (spinning tops, leaping over banisters, harsh talk, etc. ---Ha!)

I'm determined to read through at least some of this in the coming year as part of my Victorian Reading Challenge. Have you signed up yet? Do join--it will be a lot of fun and I'm even offering prizes this year!

Have a lovely Christmas!


  1. wow, what a wonderful find. When I was in high school in the 1970's, we used notebooks that instead of being spiral with holes holding the paper in, they had glue that held them in the notebooks, so you could easily rip out the paper. I love everything about this blog!

    1. Neat! I'm glad you love the blog---I do too! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. The moral is: When things are not going our way, know that God has a plan for us. God will do almost anything for us. Jesus reminded us through his teachings and his stories how much God loves us. Place your trust in God and God will always give you what is best for you. I reviewed "The Three Trees." What a wonderful story!

  3. What a treasure, Sarah. Oh, to find these books -- and yes, I know what you mean when you said you would have paid much more!

    I send you belated Christmas greetings and thank you for taking the time to come over to Marmelade Gypsy and leave such a wonderful comment, especially during the such a busy season. How wonderful to go the Austen festival each year in Bath. We were there in October and when I get back to my England posts after the first of the year, I hope you'll join me. I love that you have the nutcrackers for your daughter -- and yes, time to start your own collection. (Although our son still hasn't claimed all the ornaments for him on our tree. And while we remind him a bit, we haven't pressed the issue!) Happy New Year!