I just heard that it's been 60 years since E. B. White published Charlotte's Web.
Hard to believe that children's classic, which my 3rd grade teacher, Miss Rudolph, read aloud to us during our daily "rest period" is that old.
I just may have to get the book at my local library and read it again.
It, and a mystery series by Gertrude Chandler Warner called "The Boxcar Children" were among my favorite reads at this time. I think I liked them better than The Bobbsey Twins or Nancy Drew.
There was another series also initially published at least 60 years ago that I also enjoyed back then, though none of my friends seemed to know if them - so they we sort of a "secret" or "guilty pleasure" for me back then.
These were stories about a "poor little rich girl" named Maida Westabrook. All these books were titled "Maida's Little (Something)." I know for sure there was "Maida's Little Shop," "Maida's Little House," etc.
I only knew of them because the books I read had been my mother's - probably published in the late 30s or early 40s. In the 60s I found the musty old books stacked in a corner of my grandmother's basement - and started devouring them.
In addition to enjoying the stories, I learned a lot of new words this way. Words that were used frequently in the books, but are no longer used that much today. Like "financier," which is what Maida's father was said to be, "valise," and "roadster." Maybe even "lap robe."
The main character of these stories, Maida Westabrook, was the only child of "Buffalo" Westabrook a millionaire in the style of Little Orphan Annie's famous Daddy Warbucks. "Buffalo" was extremely benevolent and generous, but not too often present as I recall. Seems he was off doing business, but found people to "appear" in Maida's life in order to help her.
And she needed help. As I recall, Maida was lame as a result of an unnamed illness, (polio?) and she needed to find something to occupy her time, since she couldn't play or go to school.
So "Buffalo" buys her a cute little shop (in Boston?) that catches her interest. He sets her up there to run it, and hires someone to cook and look after her. Soon she meets other young people from the neighborhood, with whom she makes friends.
By the end of the book, she realizes that she HAS learned math skills and other things she would have learned in school, as a result of running the shop. And she has a tight group of friends who have kept her entertained and occupied.
Eventually she and the friends go on to have other amazing adventures in a number of other books on the same theme.
I wish I still had these original books. I believe they were written by an author named Inez Haynes Irwin, and according to Amazon, it looks like they have recently been re-released. I wonder if the new versions of the books have been upgraded to reflect current times, as was done with the Bobbsey Twins books. (I mean, back then, there were no TVs, no Internet, no cell phones. Kids reading the books today would think they
are a reflection of ancient history.)
Does anyone else remember reading these books?