I keep seeing reviews for a fantastic new book–Much Loved by Mark Nixon. Nixon is a photographer who turned his lens on the world’s beloved stuffed animals. Thumbnails are available for viewing on his web site. Right now Much Loved is only $14 on Amazon.
This poem, written by Mark Nixon, opens the book:
“When everything was unknown, they were there.
When anything could happen, they were there.
These repositories of hugs, of fears, of hopes, of tears, of snots and smears.
Alone at night, they were the comforters, when monsters lurked in darkened corners, when raised voices muffled through floors and walls.
These silent witnesses, these constant companions, defenders of innocence.
Their touch, yes, but their smell, that instantly calming, all embalming musk, unique to each, soothing and smoothing the journey from consciousness to un, from purity to im, from infancy to adult-terre.
Sworn to secrecy, unconditionally there, unjudgementally fair and almost always a bear.”
In honor of Much Loved, I’ve taken some snapshots of my family’s much loved companions.
This lamb is a music-box, which is why she was a favorite of mine. Of course, she plays “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and her head moves back and forth. It used to be smooth and beautiful, but now little Lamb is a little shaky in her old-age.
Given to me by a family friend, Rudolph plays every Christmas carol you can think of and not one, but three at a time. Rudolph is a giant hit with the Q Kids. He’s still pretty much on-key, which is a pretty good track record for something made in China:
This doggy and bunny belonged to Dad Q. Grandma Q passed them on to us, in our adulthood (or do I mean “adulthood”?). Nothing signifies the end of childhood like your parents giving you your homemade Christmas ornaments and childhood playthings. Sigh.
This Raggedy Ann doll is from the 60s and belonged to my mom. She is definitely ‘much loved’, so much so that my daughter has appropriated her and given her a new name–Randall Rabbit (I can’t explain why).
And the newest generation of much loved companions, Horsey:
Does your family have Much Loved stuffed animals? Until I wrote this post, Lamb, Doggy, and Bunny were all hidden away in a wooden chest. It’s nice to let them breathe and live again. So if you need an excuse to walk down memory lane, let this be it!