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Danny and the Wave of Nostalgia

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June 4, 2013 by kristin

At the doctor’s office yesterday, I found a dog-eared copy of Syd Hoff’s 1958 classic Danny and the Dinosaur in a bin of books meant to entertain the doctor’s smaller patients. My husband attempted to read it to our 6-month-old, while she lunged at it repeatedly, determined to get it in her mouth. (She did not succeed – books are sacred around here, not chew toys!)


Looking at the images – even upside down from my vantage point across the exam table – prompted a visceral reaction in me. It was as if each picture was a breeze lifting the corner of the curtain between adulthood and childhood, and I could feel again – so briefly – what it was like to be a child. I could feel the wonder of staring at these illustrations and imagining what IF, of admiring the simple lines and thinking, “Maybe I could draw that, too.”

This has happened for me with other books – The Monster at the End of This Book, Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree, and Mr. Bell’s Fixit Shop, a particularly charming story about an old man fixing a girl’s broken doll. I have made a point to acquire them – and many, many others – for my daughter, and sharing them with her has been one of the most wonderful parts of being a parent.

Not only do I get to enjoy hearing her laughter when Grover is embarrassed to discover HE is the monster at the end of the book, I have the pleasure of knowing that one day some of these same books will give her a nostalgic thrill, too.

So what books take you back to your childhood?

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About Kristin

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Historical fiction writer and reader. Procrastinator. Sewist. Slytherin. Fan of red lipstick, rock 'n' roll, and everything vintage.

Current Work-in-Progress

The Boy in the Red Dress

When her drag queen best friend is accused of murdering a socialite, a Jazz Age Veronica Mars searches for the real killer in the seedy underbelly and glittering upper crust of 1931 New Orleans.


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