Whenever someone we know has a baby, we go on the hunt for our favorite kid’s book, the enduringly great, zennish, out-of-print, A Hole Is to Dig by Ruth Krauss with illustrations by Maurice Sendak. We buy used copies, doing our best to find clean ones, but we never really know what we’ll get.

Recently, we found a treasure hidden in one, and a great idea.

On the inside cover was a library card pocket, but with a personalized sticker that said “This belongs to Triniby

Children's book envelope pocket 1
Sally Schneider

We noticed some pages tucked inside the pocket and gently took them out to see what they were.

children's book pocket envelope close
Sally Schneider

We unfolded them to discover the most remarkable little drawings with annotations…

children's book pages and notes
Sally Schneider

Triniby drew wonderful dresses, named them, and wrote enticing notes as though for a fashion magazine.

We especially love “Night Puff”:

Children's book pocket page note 1
Sally Schneider

….and “Spin Fall”: “leaves are the point of it all“.

children's book pocket page 2

Her (      ) seems to indicate the inspiration for each particular design…

childen's book page 3

What a wonderful idea: To glue a pocket in a kid’s book into which they can put their notes, drawings, secrets, inspirations…

children's book pocket library envelope

At Amazon, we found a trove of different styles of “library card pockets”, from the classic manilla ones, above, to these jazzy “circus” pockets

Circus library card pocket

and chevron card pockets with a space to write a kid’s name:

chevron library card pocket with name space

Now that we think if it, why not put stylish note pockets in grownup books as well?

library card pocket polka dot

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4 replies on “A Brilliant Idea Found in a Second Hand Book

  1. Oh how charming! Thank you for sharing that. Btw I’m pretty sure the name says Trinity.

  2. Thank you. I am deeply inspired. I have been going through my recently deceased mother’s belongings and, as you can imagine, finding all kinds of precious gems from the past. Her collection of craft ideas or something as simple, for example, as “haircut” written on a sticky-note affixed to an 80’s magazine clipping. Thank you so very much for resurrecting the wonderful creativity of little Triniby (or Trinity). It is a much needed reminder that life — and the unexpectedly breathtaking art that comes of it — prevails.

  3. Love all of this! Perhaps the young artist is now a grown-up fashion designer somewhere!

    P.S. Thought Pippa was way off suggesting “Trinity” until I had a closer look and saw what she meant: the round portion of the “b” appears to be two separate strokes, which it wouldn’t be if written as a “b” but would be if it were meant as a “t”. Does it look that way in person, Sally? Either way, a sweet name and a sweet story.

    I particularly love your idea of placing pockets into books. I always gift a set of Beatrix Potter books to anyone I know who is having a baby and now I will add a pocket into at least one of them for secret storage!

  4. In my experience, it is no an easy process having to go through a family member or friends belongings once they’ve passed. But it can yield loads of buried memories, if not actual evidence of a rich life. My father’s books were peppered with very interesting notes that shed light on what he was thinking. Treasures.

    I guess that’s what struck me so much about Bernie Sanders surprising statement: ART IS LIFE.

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