Katherine Anne Kindred is author of the recently published book AN ACCIDENTAL MOTHER. Here she talks about one of the first books she ever received as a gift --- one she still has!
I was five years old when I received it, yet the book remains a centerpiece of my bookcase. It was Hans Christian Andersen’s THE SNOW QUEEN. It was big, and heavy, and I can still remember carrying the book with me for weeks after Christmas had passed, showing it to my aunts and uncles and cousins and anyone who would take the time to listen to me.
This was no ordinary book; each page was thick and sturdy and most pages filled with photographs of puppets arranged in scenes, life-like pictures that told the story along with the written word. The front of the book had a three-dimensional image of Kay and Gerda tending to the roses in their flower boxes, and I spent hours pushing my tiny finger into the image, wondering how they could seem so real, yet I couldn’t touch them. The pictures enthralled me, yet the story carried me away into another world. I recall being so sad, when after the demon’s glass fell into his eye, Kay rejected his friend Gerda. I remember musing at the beauty of the Snow Queen, wondering how she could be so lovely, yet so cruel. And I felt such relief when Kay and Gerda were reunited and his tears shed the glass and turned his world beautiful again.
The book is barely held together now, the binding worn from being opened and closed so many times, the glue used to bind it not meant to last 45 years. Did my mother know how much I would love the book? Did she realize it would instill in me a lifelong interest in reading? My mother passed away many years ago and now I have more to wonder; did she ever imagine that someday her daughter would write a book of her own?