All Gone the Books

The next five childhood pictures selected randomly from the box included two of toddler me with a book. I expect my parents thought it was cute to photograph me ‘reading’ before I could actually read.

All gone the book

I’m sure I didn’t have the numbers and variety of picture books that children today enjoy. In fact, for bedtime stories I only remember one – a book of poems my sister and I recited with my father. It seems to me we read this one book over and over. The poems were classics that included: “The Owl and the Pussycat,” “Turtle Soup” from Alice in Wonderland — Beautiful soup so rich and green — “Who Killed Cock Robin?” and “The Keeper.” That latter we sang in two voices:
“Jackie boy?”
“Master?”
“Sing you well?”
“Very well.”

At some point in my childhood, one of us five siblings coined the phrase “All gone the book” when we got to the end of a story. This became one of our family catch-phrases when a book was finished.

But, of course, a book is never over. The story or poem stays with us forever.
“Hey down.”
“Hoe down.”
“Derry derry down.”
“Among the leaves so green-o.”

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