Classics covered at Study Club

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

“The Grimm, The Golden, and the Glad” was the topic of the recent Lewisburg Study Club meeting held at the Marshall County Memorial Library. Hostesses Beth Hudgin, Sherry Adams, Karen McNutt, and Judy Luna created a beautiful environment for the chosen presentation. The tables were decorated with vintage books, branches, and unique pottery vases filled with winter-blooming hellebores from the garden of Judy Luna. Members and guests enjoyed refreshments at a buffet table with an artistic centerpiece by Beth Hudgin.

Karen McNutt and Sherry Adams presented the program. Sherry Adams presented the “Grimm”, explaining the influence of the brothers Grimm--Jacob and Wilhelm- on the evolution of what we know as “folk tales” or “fairy tales”. Sherry explained that these German brothers, who were born in the late 18th century, published the first edition of their “Nursery and Household Tales” in 1812. She explained to members that originally, the Grimm brothers took oral tales and rewrote them for adult reading and their tales were often gory, violent, and adult-themed. Later, Sherry stated, the brothers began to alter the harshness of their stories and make them more appropriate for children.

Karen McNutt then explained the “Golden” of the program title-- discussing the origin, stories and artwork of the Little Golden Books. Karen gave information about former doll-maker Elouise Wilkin, an illustrator of many of the Little Golden Books. She stated that historically these books, first published in the early 1940’s, fulfilled a need for affordable children’s picture books. The small, sturdy, colorful books were first available for only 25 cents at local stores of the time. Many of the sweet innocent stories and illustrations continue to be popular with children today.

Sherry Adams concluded the program by exploring the influence of the “Glad”-- the bookmobile. Sherry recalled the role which that important vehicle played in her childhood and her developing love for books. She also gave the members information about visionary Mary Lemist Titcomb who is credited for starting the first bookmobile in 1904 with a horse-drawn wagon in Washington County, Maryland. Later, motorized vehicles helped the concept spread across the country and bring the literary world to remote and under-served locations. A discussion of the resurgence of the bookmobile and the availability today of Little Free Libraries in many communities followed the presentation. This month’s program contributed to the year’s theme of “Celebrating Youth Through Books, Music and Art” as members and guests went home with an enhanced knowledge of Grimm’s fairy tales, Little Golden Books, and the history of the bookmobile.

Photo submitted

Hostesses for the Lewisburg Study Club meeting, pictured from left: Sherry Adams, Judy Luna, Karen McNutt, and Beth Hudgin.