I am willing to bet that someone else reading this has this same book, old and long out of print as it is. I'm pretty sure my sister Becky has one. Anyone else?
I have had this book longer than I remember. It was given to me when I was very young, by my parents, and read and reread and reread for years and years. My copy has scribbles in it that I made when I must have been about 2 years old. The copyright date in the book is 1942, but I was born in 1946, so this one came sometime after that.
Before I knew to love wonderful illustration and quirky typefaces, I loved this book. The poem, of course, is well-known and has probably been illustrated hundreds of times in hundreds of ways. This, to me, is the only version that matters. I can hear my Dad reading it the moment I open the cover. I bring it out every Christmas. Is it only because it holds so much for me, or is this not a beautiful thing?