The Little Girl Short Stories by Ronald R. Van Stockum, Jr.
Illustrations by Steven P. Eilers
Oh, the joys of discovery for the very young! Pappadoo loves to uncover the mysteries of nature in new ways. Now, more exciting, because he sees through the eyes of his little granddaughter, Susie. From the scented forests of the bountiful Hudson River Valley of New York, where she was born, to Pappadoo’s wondrous farm in Kentucky, author Ronald R. Van Stockum, Jr. takes us with the Little Girl and her parents on amazing adventures.
The paw prints of a community of friends encircle the pools of water in “The Little Girl and the Stream.” She reaches into the clear water for a clam-shaped fossil–an image of life from the past.
In “The Little Girl and the Cave,” Pappadoo, excited as a child, shows his granddaughter an old carbide lamp which he and his boys had used in their spelunking experiences close to his farm. They don helmets with lights, and carry side packs. With a child’s power of focus, Susie studies the depression in the soft cave floor, and the soot marks on the ceiling.
In “The Little Girl and Christmas,” Pappadoo and susie make snow angels, then warm up indoors for gift-giving. Pappadoo looks upon a plastic tree with pre-wound lighting, not the fragrant cedar he treasures, but realizes it’s the presents–gifts of knowledge–that are real. He gives Susie a full-grooved axe head. From his voice, she understands its treasure.
“The Little Girl and the Woods” shows Pappadoo in fine form taking the family for a walk along the Hudson River tributary. Bouncing down the steps of a wooded slope, they admire wild ginger and flowers on the brown-grey leaves of beech.
On their family trips, each of them sees “…something different in the lines and colors and scents…” As we read, the author lets us see and learn from all their views.
74 Pages, Hard Cover