Every month, I read Horn Book magazine. In the March-April 2009 issue, I came across a wonderful selection by Michael Joseph that pretty much sums up a good many of "do you have this book" type requests that we get from patrons. Here it is:
"We have a patron who is looking for a book
she read as a child. She can’t remember
the title. All she knows is,
there were lots of strange characters
who were large. They were shaped like flowers or clouds.
They had mouths like apple sections, they smiled a lot
and wore feathers, which implied something, but she isn’t sure
if it had illustrations: this is just the way the characters were,
she says. Sometimes they were part of the plot
and sometimes the plot was a part of them.
They moved around in subtle, circular ways, but she can’t
recall names, or any dialogue, and she can’t even say
if the book had a central theme, although maybe it was
There’s no place like home, or All you need is love;
but when we suggest that these sound
too much like the lyrics to songs, she nods her head.
She agrees but can’t recall if the book was green
or how long it took to read it.
While being read, it was part of everything and seemed to move
around a lot. It traveled with the characters:
Sometimes they carried it to the mountains or to the lake.
Sometimes the characters were clouds and floated on the lake,
they read to her out of the book that read to them,
and the trout splashed near the boat to listen closer.
The fat lazy bees hovered over sweet honeysuckle.
And all the spooky reeds leaned over to take a look.
Maybe the book has no title or author; but she
would like very, very much to know if p0ossible
here she can find a copy,
or another exactly like it,
for her granddaughter."
While the above may sound a little sarcastic, we CAN and HAVE found books for patrons with less information than this "poem" suggests. If there is a book that you fondly remember from your childhood, don't hesitate to ask the library staff at any service desk to help you find it. Chances are it did exist as you remember it, and chances are that we can find it for you!
I Read This Book About Thirty Year Ago