Somewhere between 1953-1956, on my evening trips with my father to the Rochester (NY) Public Library on Winton Road near University Avenue, in my wanderings among the children’s stacks, I found at my eye level a book about 7”x 5”, about 1/2” thick, that had a brown cover with an illustration of squirrels. It was about squirrels and other animals in the forest. But squirrels were the stars.
Each page had maybe two short paragraph’s worth of words – maybe three sentences each. Each page had illustrations too. It was the first book that looked to me like a “real” book, not a children’s read-to-by-an-adult book. It was a book I could read, meant to be read by me in solitude.
I read it over and over. I just remember the squirrels, the brownish-orange of the cover, the lovely large print, but not so large that there weren’t paragraphs. The squirrels were very happy in their forest lives; I was so happy in my reading life.
Not much to go on, that’s for sure. I just paid my four dollars, though. Why not try?