Why 'My Mink Betty'?

Why 'My Mink Betty'?
I'm not your common, everyday twenty-something year old and when I graduated from High School I got an equally uncommon gift. My parents found for me a beautiful 1940's mink stole at a garage sale. It had belonged to the woman's Great Aunt Betty who had married late in life to a man with money and had only allowed him to buy her this one luxury. The unusually styled stole has the name, Betty L. Jones, embroidered in the satin lining so that's what I call her. They never had children of their own and the mink was passed to Aunt Betty's niece and on to her daughter. Until it got to me, no one since Aunt Betty had worn it. Now Betty the mink and I go to the theater together on special occasions and I hope that someday I can take her to the Symphony or the Ballet. Although Betty hadn't been worn or loved for many years she was waiting for someone to love her again as are most other things I look for when thrifting.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Didn't You Ever Want to Color in Your Books?

Included in my Christmas Giveaway is a thrifted paperback copy of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," a classic children's book. It was an even better thrift store find than I could have ever imagined.

After we brought it home, I was leafing through it and remembered how much I had wanted to color in the pages of our own copy as a child. But of course, I was raised right.

"Thou shalt not color in the pages of a reading book... unless your brother does it first -- then it's okay, he'll get the blame".

I was five years old. I think it was quite devious sneaky conniving clever of me.

I was at the college the day after we bought it and I received a phone call that went something like this:

Me: Hello?
Mom: I have a question for you.
Me: Yes?
Mom: Did you notice that this copy of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is a coloring book?
Me: Seriously?! That is SO cool!
Mom: Yeah. I was taking pictures for you and it says it right on the cover. How observant are we?

As a child, I had an obsessive method of coloring in my coloring books. Everything had to be just so and as accurate to real life as possible. If it was a Barbie coloring book, her hair had to be yellow because Barbie's hair was yellow, not pink or blue or even brown. I was also meticulous about the lines.

I remember once, when I was about five years old, I got mad at my (then fifteen year old) sister for accidentally coloring outside a line in my Cinderella coloring book and told her that her "coloring privileges" were "rebroked".

She gave me the strangest look, probably thinking "Where the heck did you learn the word 'rebroked'? What in the world are they teaching you at that kindergarten? What privileges do you have to get 'rebroked'? Have you been listening to my phone conversations again? Man... I have the weirdest little sister. I'm SO coloring Cinderella's hair Brown while you're asleep." Then she just put the crayons down and walked out of the room and I thought to myself "Man... I have the weirdest big sister".

My only exception was with eye color. Everyone had to have green eyes because I wanted green eyes like my mommy. They had to be forest green regardless of my mother's eye color because no other green was just right. Once, when I couldn't find my forest green crayon and was very upset, my colorblind father tried to console me with "It's not that bad, they're all the same color brown to me." His crayoning privileges got "rebroked" too.

And... back to our original topic:

Not only was "The Grinch" a desirable coloring book, we also had "Horton Hears a Who" and "Yertle the Turtle," all of which were done in two-tone schemes and I thought they didn't have enough colors in them.

When originally looking through this book, I didn't realize that the pictures were supposed to have any color in them.

Click on the picture to enlarge.
The pictures are just so detailed and so much fun that it makes me want to not give it away! There's so much to color. There's the Who-feast with the Who-pudding and rare Who-roast beast.

There's the Who girls and boys playing with toys and making the NOISE. When I was little I especially wanted to color the Christmas trees and the presents that were everywhere in this. I wanted to make striped and spotted and colorful papers and ribbons and ornaments.

The Grinch is in the fridge taking their feast! I love the General Who-lectric icebox and the way that the Whos stack their eggs. Wish my eggs would do that, don't you? See that fish in the bottom? He shows up again later.

Did anyone ever notice the bunch of bananas hanging from the top of the tree on the right hand side of the sleigh? What the heck? Didn't anyone tell Dr. Seuss that the rum is for the fruitcake and not his stomach? Goodness. See? The fish is in the top of one of the sacks!

This book is just so fun I can hardly keep myself from coloring it all in! If you like this as much as I do, you should go on over to my giveaway and enter to win this and six more lovely Christmas books so that you can start your very own Christmas book advent calendar.

Was there a book you always wanted to color in or that you wish had been made into a coloring book? I had a "Wizard of Oz" coloring storybook that I insisted upon coloring in the monochromatic schemes of the actual book, much to my older sister's annoyance as she just didn't understand.

Yes, I'm quite aware that I was a very strange and meticulous child.

By the way, this is a special 40th anniversary edition (over ten years ago by now) and I'm not sure if they still print the coloring book version. Fortunately, you readers know how to find vintage books such as this.

I'm linking this to these parties. Come join the fun:

Thrift Share Monday @ Apron Thrift Girl




  1. That is an awesome book!

    What would bug me was when I'd pick up a book to read and someone had "colored" in it--meaning taken a crayon and made whatever crude, scribbly mark they felt like on each.and.every.page. Ugh.

  2. Now that is a fun book! You have really found the best books for this giveaway!

  3. *snort* Ok, seriously. I'm so glad I wasn't drinking my coffee when I read the comment your dad made. Not funny then, I'm sure, but now. . . Hah! And nope, didn't really want to color in my books. But I want that coloring book! So now I'm headed over to enter. . .

  4. WANT...TO...COLOR IN THE BOOK! The desire is maddening!

    I didn't color in my books past toddler age, I loved my books and was pedantic about maintaining them. Same thing with my dolls, I was the only girl with Barbies that look like they came right out of the package! Into my middle school and high school years, defacing property became fun again...

  5. I never colored in my reading books, but I did write my names on the inside front flap of EVERY book I owned. No idea why I thought I had to do that, but now there are tons of books out there in the world with my (maiden) name on them.

  6. I love all things Grinch. What a great find.

  7. Thanks for joining Junkin Finds Friday! I picked up another book for my Advent calendar. I have about 4 now!!

  8. What a neat book. I have never seen a Grinch coloring book. My students always loved that story. They would talk in rhyme the rest of the day after I read it.!

  9. Loved your Father's comment. :D Love seeing the old children's books - would have a collection if had the room.
    I have to admit - I did not like my books oolored/marked in either.
    Have a great weekend.

  10. Love your post...I always hated to see scribble on such great pictures in the old coloring books.

  11. Cute story! Great book! I loved coloring in my coloring books and I too was very meticulous about it. I hated to share my coloring and reading books with my cousins because they were not as meticulous as I was and would mark up my reading books too. I actually started hiding them when they came over to visit and the only books I would leave out were the ones they had already marked up.

    ~ Tracy

  12. Thanks everyone for the great commments! It's nice to know that there were other meticulous children out there. Aside from coloring books, I was picky about board games and video tape boxes. I hated losing pieces and broken boxes.

  13. I remember loving to color. Since I was raised without my half brothers and sisters, I was pretty much an only child. Coloring was something I could do alone and really enjoyed!! Thanks for the memory!


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