Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vintage Tuesday

We are way behind on vintage books, so I'm going to catch up this week with Vintage Tuesday, Vintage Wednesday, and Vintage Thursday.

Other people set out candles and hang holly wreaths--The Writer decorates with books. I've been looking over her vintage Christmas books. Today we'll talk about The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell, illustated by Katherine Evans.

The Writer remembers having the watered-down Golden Book version of this story, which she read to make herself feel sad--

Why would a kid want to feel sad on purpose?

You have to remember The Writer was writing stories . . . and she was a little weird. Anyway, she was bothered by the little boy angel because to be an angel meant you were dead. The Writer wondered what happened to him, did he get hit by a car? And then he had all that trouble up in Heaven.

In the story, the Littlest Angel, who has a hard time adjusting to Heaven's rules, is sent to the Understanding Angel. The boy says he'd be happier if he could have the box of treasures under his bed on earth. He gets his box with its robin's eggshell, the collar of his deceased dog, white stones from the creek. Then the Son of God is born and all the angels give Him gifts. The Littlest Angel only has his rough box, which looks very out of place among the glittering gifts. Yet God is most pleased by his gift because it represents Earth and man.

Charles Tazewell wrote the story originally for radio in 1937. Famous theater actress Helen Hayes would read it on the radio at Christmas time. Another actress, Loretta Young, recorded it for Decca records. In 1946, Children's Press published the story with art by Katherine Evans. Tazewell wrote a few other children's holiday books, including The Littlest Snowman.

The Writer started her own box of earthly treasures, with a robin's eggshell, feathers, and pretty stones, that she kept under her bed in case she got hit by a car and had to go to Heaven. She'd ask to take her box, too.

You know, The Littlest Angel Cat would make a much better story. I think I'll write it . . .

Just don't use yourself as a model.

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