Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Miss Hickory







When I was a little girl my older sister Debby got this book out of the library, Miss Hickory, by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey. The story haunted me, but I loved the illustrations, even though some of those frightened me, too! Several years ago my son Eben and his wife Tracey got me a copy of my own for Christmas. Ruth Gannett's lithographs are so terrific - I love them still!!! Seems now from an adult vantage point to be a story about loss of ego...
Did any of you have stories that scared you as children? What were they?

6 comments:

Jo-an said...

Martha, I've seen some of those illistrations before. They are beautiful but the one where she has no head is creepy.

As a child I was given and had read to me "Wind In the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame and I loved it. That version was illustrated by Arthur Rackhame. His charaters were lovely and fun, nothing particularly scary about Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad, but the trees... The trees were malevolent. They looked as though they were reaching off the page to carry me into a world that was most unsafe for a little girl like me. And still I wanted the story to continue.

Another scary "story" for me was the first movie I saw. No, not the ubiquitous "Bambie". For me it was "Fantasia". I was about 5. I loved the music and the cartoon images, all except inside the mouths of the dinosaures. They were soooo PINK! I was terrified! The incredible pinkness made the dinos way too real for my 5 year old brain. That it had gotten dark while we were in the theater added to the scary feelings. The crowning blow came when we found that my mom had locked the keys in the car. Waiting for help was horrible. Was that a dino I heard around the corner by the 5 & 10 cent store? Aaaahhhh!!!!! I was sooo scared!

Susan Beauchemin said...

Oh, I love miss hickory--we must have looked at that book together--the illustrations are the best!! And in the end she's a bare twig that has been grafted onto the tree. Sort of takes the joyful moments of pretending and slaps them upside the head with mother nature's reality.

Richard said...

I love the bird nest and the whole bird theme. This is a very creative blog and I enjoyed looking at your many beautiful illistrations. I used to live in Portland myself. It is a good place for an artist to live.

Peace,
Richard

Martha Miller said...

hey jo-an!

ha ha! thanks! fantasia was awfully surreal for a little one! i also loved arthur rackham's illustrations. i had a shirley temple book of fairy tales that i pored (poured?) over endlessly. in it was the legend of sleepy hollow illustrated by rackham!!! oh, those treeeees!!!!

Martha Miller said...

sue, i'm certain we looked at that book side by side, getting thrills and chills from seeing the bare twiggy miss hickory become one with nature...
do you remember a series of children's classics that we had down cellar? and the inside covers ahd the same image - a boy running from what must have been smoke, but when i was a kid, it looked like huge flying blobs of poop, and it always frightened me!!!

Martha Miller said...

hello, richard! thanks for stopping by - do visit again! where do you live now?