Happiness on every page can be found in an 87 year old children’s story book, The Gateway to Storyland. Or at least that’s what the cute kittens are reading on the title page.
The Gateway to Storyland is a collection of 21 stories including Chicken Little, Three Little Kittens, and The Gingerbread Boy wonderfully illustrated by Eulalie.
In Mr. Pig Goes to Market, Mr. Pig buys ten pounds of stew ingredients and invites his friends for dinner, without first telling Mrs. Pig. When she finds out, she says, “Lack a day, then I’d better get busy”. This is the first time I’ve heard the phrase “lack a day”, which is an archaic expression of regret. And by archaic, I mean 1500s and 1600s. Interestingly, it morphed into a word occasionally still used today: lackadaisical.
The only other story with a bookish illustration is The Discontented Pig. In this picture, Thomas Cat is a professional violin player with a bookshelf loaded with composers like Pusski, Catcalls, and Meowski.
The tale follows Mr. Pig’s quest for an easier way to make a living than growing prize winning vegetables. After visiting the violin playing cat, the cheese making dog, and the Bee Man, he learns of their hard work, causing him to conclude, “Working in my garden is not so bad after all. I am going back to it.” Hmmmm.
Eulalie Banks was a famous illustrator of the time and she continued to draw and paint until she was 90. She named her daughter Athalie, which just so happens to be my grandmother’s middle name. Another first for today since I’ve never met another person with that unusual, yet pretty, name.