Thursday, September 24, 2009

Friday's Favorites from the Past: Do Not Open

Every Friday, Alyce At Home With Books features this meme inviting us to look back at a favorite book from the past.  Every parent who has ever read aloud to a child sooner or later discovers that there is one book that MUST be read every night for what seems like eighty-eleven million years.  When my son made his first trip to the public library in the spring of 1982, we checked out Brinton Turkle's gorgeously illustrated book DO NOT OPEN. We renewed it, and then renewed it, and then my neighbor graciously volunteered to check it out (and renew it) while I scoured used book stores (remember this was pre Amazon and even internet time) trying to find a copy to give him for Christmas.

I finally did find one and it has remained with us over the years.  Last December, when he was visiting with his own daughter, and they were shifting through boxes of books in the attic, I was treated to a glorious crowing as all 6 ft of him came galloping down the attic steps and he raced into the great room holding this aloft yelling "YES YES....we still have it."  Daddy and daughter now both read it went home to Virginia with him, but I still have fond memories of it.  It is now out of print, and I 'm trying to find a decent copy for our library here in town.

The story is about an old lady who lives on the beach with her cat.  She walks every day and collects sea glass bottles, and other flotsam and jetsam and then finds a bottle that says "Do Not Open" one day after a big storm.  Should she open it?  You can imagine the tension and suspense this holds for youngsters. The exciting events that follow make it a wonderful book for the 3-7 age group.  I won't spoil it but there is a wonderful wonderful MONSTER, and I wish I could remember the name of the cat, who ends up being the hero....

If you can find it, grab it. It's a treasure to savor and pass on.


  1. Tutu - you can bet I'll be hunting this one down! We spend A LOT of time picking up sea glass, shells, and driftwood from the beach. This sounds perfect for my gang! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I'll have to see if I can find this one for my youngest. I loved your description of your grown son's excitement when he found the book. :)

  3. I was excited to see that our library system has this book, so I put it on hold. I can't wait to see if my son likes it as much as yours did.


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