Fifty Flower Friends With Familiar Faces: A Field Book for Boys and Girls

Jun 9, 2012 by

FIFTY FLOWER FRIENDS WITH FAMILIAR FACES: A FIELD BOOK FOR BOYS AND GIRLS first published in 1907 is a sweet little field book on fifty flowers written for “boys and girls” by Edith Dunham – – but it surely has something for all of us to discover within its pages. It is written gently for children, but I find with its illustrations and prose anyone who can read will enjoy this book. Edith’s love of flowers and nature leap out from the pages of FIFTY FLOWER FRIENDS WITH FAMILIAR FACES and it has sharpened my eyes to look more closely at the flowers I see every day. I think if you love nature or flowers you will surely love Fifty Flower Friends with Familiar Faces. Here are a few words from Edith Dunham describing her book: “When this book was first planned, it was the intention of the author to write simply a series of sketches which would bring before boys and girls a few flowers more or less well known, and enable them to identify the plants for themselves. In these sketches some facts about each flower were stated, but it was intended to bring out more the personality of these friends in the plant world, and the locality in which each would be found, than to give an actual description of the flowers. As the work grew, however, it seemed better to add an accurate description of each plant, thus making the book a practical field book, which it is hoped will be found of use to children at home or in school. If by its use the boys and girls learn to have a deeper love for our wild flowers, and a desire for better knowledge of them, with the wish to preserve them as far as possible in their native haunts, the author’s hope will be fulfilled. We all know how much more enjoyable a walk through the country is if our eyes are open to the beauties of nature, to which the wild flowers con- tribute no small part. Who has not felt a thrill of joy at the sight of hills covered with the exquisite wild violets ; or a pond dotted here and there with the wonderful white lilies that seem to belong to another world ; or who that has seen the cardinal flower in its splendor can forget the graceful majesty of it? How much more we should enjoy the world, then, if we were alive to all its beauties and wonders! What a marvel of perfection each tiniest blossom is, each blade of grass ; and yet for the most part we go through the world blindly, — seeing only the big masses of things that must of necessity arrest our attention. It is the children who, with infinite wisdom, have their eyes wide open for beauty, and minds athirst for more knowledge of the things they see. To the children who have taught me to appreciate a little more the beauties of life, I wish to express my humble gratitude. EDITH DUNHAM. February, 1907.

 

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