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The Red Hen has fluttered home to roost after a summer of antique show selling and buying.  Actually, truth be told, she flies away once again next week to shop New England and THEN is home to roost.

One frequent requests at my summer shows has been for “the perfect baby gift” for a friend’s newborn.  This is a pretty big order to fill–what to suggest that is both charming, vintage and yet timeless.  What will a child at 5, 15 and still at 25 years of age be thankful to have received as a newborn?!  After reading many interesting blogs this summer written by young women who were attending baby “book” showers, and after scouring book stores–old and new, looking at my own library and merchandise stock, I may have discovered the perfect answer:  Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses.

Since childhood, I have been enamored with “RLS”.  While I no longer own my original 1957 Golden Book of this title (I had younger cousins to whom things were passed), I did buy a reprint for my children – THAT book I still have.  And, I have started collecting A Child’s Garden of Verses, both to keep and sell.  What makes each one so special, outside of his quotable amazing poetry, are the many illustrators.  I have spoken to many customers looking for this book illustrated by the artist they grew up with–this has proved a enjoyable hunt.

While my current stock is pretty low, I have included with this post some of the illustrators that I currently have.  My personal favorite is the 1957 Golden Press, Western Publishing Company issue (Little Golden Books) illustrated by Eloise (Burns) Wilkin.

Answer to “the perfect baby gift”?  Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses.

~Red Hen