Will you remember you once were a child?

Nina Laden, Once Upon a Memory. Illustrated by Renata Liwska

Published 2013 by Little, Brown and Company


Memories of childhood are full of significance.

Exploring our past experiences we understand our formation and our present behavior. Although we have poor memories of our first two or three years of life, the childhood memories are unique and describe our first definitions of world and life.

What Nina Laden does in her book is to poetically recreate the process of going back in time and recall the beauty and innocence of our first memories.

A feather drifts through a child’s window and the moment he collects it a full of significance adventure commences. We wonder about origins and life itself.

Does a feather remember it once was a bird?

And the story continues with philosophical questions which are simply formulated but full of complexity in meaning.

Does a chair remember it once was a tree?

Does love remember it once was new?

Memories are past but they continue to define our present, who we are and what we feel, how we behave and how we react. As adults we cherish our childhood as it was special so, when Nina Laden ultimately ingeniously asks What will you remember?, the reading becomes more personal and even deeper.  The final part of the book is an open invitation to meditation on our own childhood.


The poem is beautiful, extremely reflective and gradually built to its final question which is full on intensity and emotions. Renata Liwska’s tender style, mainly in grey and brown shades, recalls the purity and magic of childhood and delightfully illustrates the text.

You can find the book here: http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=wordstoworlds


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