Revisiting the Past


Sometimes having children is about revisiting the past. Do you have any of your childhood toys left? Lucky for me, my mother is a bit of a packrat and kept many of our things. Now we regularly drink from Smurf and Muppet glasses, my children play with my old doll house and use my handmade wooden doll beds. It’s nice to see things come full circle.

But these Ant and Bee books were a different story. I had them squirreled away on a shelf, intending never to share them with my children as they are too precious. The books were originally printed in the UK in the ’70s with a re-print in the late ’80s and early ’90s, but are  now out of print. They are selling for rather outlandish prices, as you can see here. But mine aren’t in very good condition and what’s the point in having something that you can’t share? So I pulled them down from the shelf and had a flood of memories as my daughter read them aloud. So sweet — and really great books. As my seven-year-old was reading Ant and Bee and the Rainbow, my five-year-old followed along reading the names of the colors. Angela Banner’s words and illustrations are still relevant today. They should print these again.



Then my friend Laura brought the girls a super awesome gift – her Barbie townhouse that she had as a girl, still in its original box and in perfect condition. My husband said this was the Death Star of Barbie toys. I took one look at that elevator and remembered that I also had this as a kid. Somewhere down the line it didn’t make it back to me, but it’s so nice to complete the circle. My younger daughter especially loves Barbie, though I have rather mixed emotions. But then I do that “Well, I played with them as a kid” thing that we as parents often do. You know, since we turned out so well. And this Barbie house has a working elevator. Now that’s just cool.


59 thoughts on “Revisiting the Past”

  • So funny to find this post on your blog because I just found the only one I had from my childhood and I cherished it. Memories flooded back for me as well to see it again and read it to my five year old. Too bad my almost 2yr old got her hands on it and ripped off the cover before I caught her. I had no idea they were so popular.

  • I had that same barbie house! Now I have a little girl (5 months) and I guess I should find it at my mother’s house, if it’s still there, for her to play with one day… Thanks for the reminder! (She could use toys other than barbies in it, right?..)

  • Oh MAN! It totally remember that Barbie house! Yes…the elevator is very cool. Luckily I have a boy who is interested in trucks, so I don’t have to deal with the parental struggle of Barbie or no-Barbie (but like you, I have happy memories of playing with Barbie, and I *even* turned out to be a feminist). 😉

  • Yes it is fun to see your children play with your old toys. My mom was a packrat too and kept everything. I even played with some things that had been my mothers so my children played with my toys and a few of my mother’s. Now it has come full circle again for me as I give some of those to my grandchildren.

  • Just came across your web site > violet hours > design mom

    I had this dollhouse and it always fell apart on me when I played with it. I loved the elevator!
    Thanks for bringing back great memories!

  • OMG

    Talk about a blast from the past.

    Those books have always been at the back of my mind from when I started reading them, I adored them, and read the all, over and over if I recall. I loved getting them out at the library.

    As for the Barbie house, whilst I wasn’t a big doll fan as a kid, give me Lego any day, I remember it really well, I think my sister had it? Or a friend at least.

    Cripes 😀

  • I absolutely adore the three original Ant & Bee books that I still have from my childhood – I was shocked when I tried to find some more last year and saw how expensive they are! Hold onto those treasures!

  • Ridiculous though it sounds Ant and Bee and the Rainbow is still my all time favourite book.

    I’m 44 now so really should have found something to top it! 🙂

    I bought a copy of it from eBay for ‘more than the original cover price’ but it was worth every penny. As a Creative Director this might have inspired me into the business back in 1970, who knows?

  • I do love Ant and Bee. My freshman year of college I was very sick and felt so pathetic I called home and had my mother read to me from the Ant and Bee book where they travel the world! I felt a little bit better after that.

    I was just doing a google image search for Ant and Bee and this post came up – what a surprise! I had never been to your blog before, but I do work for a fabric shop & am very familiar with your new Stamped line!

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