This Collection has shied away from abridged children's books, for a variety of reasons, as has been discussed in the past. Yet, here is just that. A twenty one year old copy of the Great Illustrated Classics Moby Dick, a children's abridged book, lovingly inscribed in a female hand: Chris love Gram and Grampy.
The Collection received this copy from SHP, daughter of the editor, who is an ELL teacher at the Donald McKay School in East Boston, Mass.
That school is a just a few blocks north of the site of school's namesake's ship yard, where in 1851 he built the Flying Cloud, perhaps the most extreme of extreme clippers. A mere 99 years later the Editor of TMDC would be born west of the site by sixty miles. Ironic, no?
When SHP gave us this copy, she was in the company of several other gradeschool teachers from the Donald McKay School. There was a most interesting and lengthy conversation about the quality of the Great Illustrated Classics as a body of work, whether they were good for young children, true to the original work, and a viable teaching resource. We think that the opinions tended to be on the negative side.
We just love imagining who Grampy was. He could still be alive, he may have lived in East Boston and worked at one of the remaining ship yards there, but most certainly he was something special to a young reader.