May 29, 2013

the fourteen bears in summer and winter

Happy Wednesday all! How is your week moving along? We are on day three of summer vacation and I'm already worn out. We've been spending a lot of time outside and playing many many games of 'library'. Basically I sit on the floor in their room and pick out books and the girls check them out. It is one of those great games that requires minimal brain power from me and keeps the girls occupied for hours. I am a game creating genius.

The hot item at 'the library' these days is my absolute favorite childhood book. The Fourteen Bears in Summer and Winter. The fourteen bears are kind of like the Duggars of the literary world - 12 sisters and one brother who live with their mom and dad in the forrest. They have great adventures in the summer and winter (duh, as the title implies) but what I would pour over for hours were the pictures.

Each sister had her own tree and each tree was decorated differently. It was like House Beautiful for those under 10. You had traditional, mid century, chippendale, country; you name it they covered it. There is even a feature on how they decorated their front doors. Pure heaven.

My copy is well loved, shall we say, and over 35 years old. So just for fun I did some digging to see if I could get a new copy. And I can, for $641.70.

Excuse me?!

Apparently this book went out of print not long after my sisters and I got it for Christmas and it became quite the collectors item. They started a reprint in 2005 but it went back out of print in 2008 and has been 'a get' ever since. Who knew?

Makes me think twice about playing library with it. But part of what I love about the book is how used it is. One page even has a rug that has been colored in by...someone. I vividly remember doing it oddly enough. I was watching Punky Brewster at the time. Ah, like it was yesterday.

Do you have any items from childhood that were a glimpse into what you wanted to do when you grew up? Any happy memories about an old book? Ever color in a book? Yeah, me neither.


  1. I may have colored in marker on the back of a pillow while sitting behind the giant television. I don't remember coloring on any books or reading about 14 bears, but reading Professor Wormbog's Gloomy Kerploppus was my favorite. I just looked to see if it's available and saw it for the Nook which is so wrong since it's scratch and sniff....

    School vacation starts really early where you are. It's not until the end of June here.

  2. I am loving the new look of your blog! I didn't color in my books. I was busy trying to find Barbie's other shoe. I think I wanted to be a detective like Nancy Drew. Actually, I just wanted to hang out with the Hardy Boys.

  3. I used to love playing library! I still have my glow worm that I got when I was 4. My kids think it is so neat!

  4. Oh the love of the book and sharing it with your little ones makes it even more valuable! I remember playing alot of library ... and Store. It seems we bought things over and over in our house!! xo

  5. Oh that was one of my favorite books growing up too!! My sister and I would pick out which rooms we liked best. My mom actually bought a book for both sets of grandkids in 2005 so I have a newer copy.

  6. I colored in a book once and felt so guilty afterwards, I never read the book again. I didn't want to see what I colored and be reminded of my naughtiness.

    Sounds like a precious book, but I think we'll stick to reading it in our local library. Sheesh! $650!

  7. What?! 650?!. That's crazy girl. I can see why its a get though...what fab little decorating bears.
    I used to play library when I was a kid. I remember it fondly. I had a 'yackback' that's recording button made the same beep as the scanner thing at the library so I would use it to check out the books. Too funny.

  8. I'm not sure when this book was published, but I never saw it? I'm OLD! I would have loved dreaming of all the interiors they created!
    My cousin and I built "sets" to stage plays using "Archie" comic books as our story line!

  9. I do! I do have my childhood book that held a certain grown up fantasy. Mrs. Cooper (in Corky) had a little pink and green preppy thing ala 1964 going on that I wanted. Honestly, I fantasized about cottage-y spaces a lot as kid and I want no part of them now.

  10. That sounds like an awesome book... and a treasure in more ways than one. :) Pretty sure I would have liked it too.
    Funny that you ask the question about children's books. I've been thinking recently that one of my favorites as a kid was a little golden book called "Mister Dog". "He was called Crispan's Crispian because he belonged to himself." I dreamed about independence when I was a kid and that book has turned in to a weird self-fulfilling prophecy. Not d├ęcor related, I know, but...
    ps. I've been waiting with bated breath to catch a glimpse of your green sofa. :)

  11. So sweet! Sounds like something my children would have done not too long ago! I say enjoy the book- even if it would cost a fortune to replace!

  12. oh my word! that is crazy. a well used book is the kind of book!

  13. This book looks ADORABLE! It's funny because I loved any kind of book that illustrated the characters' homes or described them really well. This book looks totally up my 6 year-old self's alley (or my current 29 year-old self's alley, who am I kidding?).

  14. looks adorable!!! I'll have to pick it up for my little one on the way!

    {love jenny xoxo}

  15. Oh Elizabeth, that books sounds like a keepsake and to be put on the shelve up high when done playing with it. My dds were so hard on their things that we don't have any except for a toy doll house that my Mom told me to put on the shelf. Now my grandies play with it as I take it off the shelf for them when they ask. (hug) to you my friend. Hope summer isn't too long for you.


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