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Before the Title, Past
A Nonfiction Column
By Willie Elliott

Everything I need to Know
I Learned From a Little Golden Book

By Diane Muldrow

Ever now and then a book just draws your eyes to it on the shelves and practically shouts, “Hey, you know you need to read me.” Such was the case with Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book.

One day Diane Muldrow, a longtime editor at Little Golden Books, realized that the little books covered most of the situations we face in life. With delightful illustrations of animals, birds, children and even inanimate things such as trains the author tells us what these lessons are. It appears that the illustrations are from former Golden Books.

Most, if not all the lessons, will be mentioned in this column, but without the stunning illustrations, the lessons will lose ninety-five percent of their punch. Let,s go through the lessons to illustrate how thorough these lessons cover life: Ger dressed first thing (sweatpants are bad for morale), have some pancakes, get some exercise every day, frolic, daydream, go on a joy ride, stroll, bird-watch, treat yourself (the simplest things are often the most fun), so go on a picnic, and make music a part of your life, be a hugger, kiss, turn off the tv from time to time, and crack open a book, use your imagination look up, and savor the seasons as they roll around, stay curious, take in some culture once in a while, learn something new, dare to explore (what's out there for you?), express yourself, try a new look, be unique (just don't go overboard, plan that dream trip (soon you will be on your way), be open to making new friends (even if they're very, very shy), keep in touch, hang out, steer clear of shady characters, be discriminating, choose your companions wisely, break bread together every day, don't forget your antioxidants, go ahead and make a big deal over your birthday, dress up and go dancing (any kind of dancing), make something from nothing, sing even if you can't hold a tune, learn to cook (and clean), make a budget and stick to it, have you had your checkup lately? Weren't you going to learn how to swim? Always keep a medical kit handy, cultivate contentment, take a mental health day now and then, and the list goes on.

The text, as good as it is,pales in comparison when combined with the illustrations that superbly illustrate the lesson. For example the illustration that goes with steer clear of shady character is illustrated with a delightful (Although up to no good) fox waiting to pounce on a group of fowls going his way. Each lesson is depicted in a like manner.

I suggest you read the book for your own fun and information and then read and discuss it with you children. I call it a children's book for grown ups. The book should be in every library. It was such a fun read for me.

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