Outside the door of my son's school library were these 2 great discards that I picked up. Both were bound in linen and illustrated with beautiful black and white etchings. Terrapin's Pot of Sense by Harold Courlander (1957) is filled with early African American folklore, narratives based on Old Testament themes, yarns of the supernatural and riddles like this one:
The Moon's A Woman:
River's all muddy,
Creek's gone dry,
If it wasn't for the woman
The men'd all die
Do you know the answer? The sun's a man and the moon's a woman because the sun is regular about his habits (always in the same place at the same time) BUT the moon changes to give us rain.......and "if it didn't ever rain three hundred sixty-five days a year, the sun would set the world on fire wouldn't it?" Then everything would dry up and the men would not survive.
The little green book is Jonathon Bing (1936) by Beatrice Curtis Brown. This one is full of wonderful little poems. I will leave you with a taste from
Jonathon Bing's Dreams:
When Jonathon Bing lies down in his bed
Most wonderful dreams come into his head;
He dreams of purple and pink and blue
And of various colors he never knew.
He will sometimes swim and he'll often fly;
He jumps on a cloud as it passes by-
Bouncing and swooping and floating afar,
He takes off his hat to the Evening star.
And sometimes when Jonathon goes to sleep,
He dreams of a cave which is dark and deep,
Where beautiful sounds go Boom and Bong,
Like a very mysterious ancient song.
Or he sometimes goes where the sky's pale green
And the leaves on the trees are all ultramarine,
Water is silver and apples are gold,
And the amethyst rain is a joy to behold.
"O fortunate Jonathon B.,
I wish in my dreams I could see what you see!"
"Oh, they're fun and they're pretty,"
says Jonathon Bing,
"But the wide-awake world is my favorite thing!"