Lizs Book Snuggery

Way Back Wednesday: Hooray for Vintage!

The Noisy Clock Shop

By Jean Horton Berg; pictures by Art Seiden


The Snuggery was born of the belief, not held by everyone, that many, if not all classic picture books reads have value for young readers. And that they should be reintroduced to successive new generations of young readers.

To sum it up in a sense, as far as classic picture books go, I do believe “What’s vintage has value.” – for the most part.

So I had a squeal of delight when I discovered G and D Vintage. This line features books that many of you grands and even parents may recall.

Culled from the Wonder Books line, originally published in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, these titles, in their day, put books at a reasonable price into the eager hands of young readers.

And through the newly minted G and D Vintage, it will continue in that same mode, to put wonderful vintage titles into the hands of a new generation of young readers.

I recently thumbed through the pages of a title from the G and D Vintage line titled, “The Noisy Clock Shop.” It was a deja vu moment for me rereading this delightful tale by Jean Horton Berg with pictures by Art Seiden of the white mustachioed, checker vested clock mender called Mr. Winky.

Mr. Glum, (love the moniker on this guy for the illustrations fit him to a tee), comes for a visit – and immediately flees the shop.

“How can you stand this awful noise?” is his parting remark from Mr. Winky’s wall to wall domain of clocks of all shapes and sizes as he adds, ….”I can’t hear myself think.”

What follows is a stroll by the owner, out into an equally noisy world, from a place he had ceased to notice was less than quiet.

What we all can get used to as background noise, right?

Mr. Winky meanders through his town, and even a nearby forest, where he encounters all the myriad noises that life throws off. Even HE can’t hear himself think at the conclusion of his promenade.

Art Seiden’s terrific illustrations of the thrum of life’s activities are colorfully clanging, cawing and cacophonous!

And Mr. Winky’s return to his clock shop might prove more of the same, you might surmise. But you’d be wrong.

What greets Mr. Winky is the grand silence! And why? Kids will have figured it out as they read along with you.

Please let your young readers in on a real treat perhaps this summer as you introduce them to G and D Vintage titles, and even perhaps reintroduce parts of your own reading childhood to yourself. Tuck a few in a take along bag as you travel this summer, or sit under a tree and just enjoy reading time travel to a simpler time of a less frenetic pace of life.

It’s a trip down reading memory lane worth taking!

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