Stephen cosgrove serendipity books fawn woodland animalsIf nurture (per the nature/nurture debate) is to be weighed with me then the moralistic Serendipity book series by Stephen Cosgrove might have something to answer for. I recall a box full of them, a rainbow of spines, and particular favourites I asked for on repeat – perhaps some morals I was more interested in cultivating than others. 

It’s the illustrations that bring the series to mind now more than the stories. Something of a vibrant, sumptuousness, with their wide-eyed woodland creatures and forests. 

The wiki entry for the series has a list of the lessons from fairly basic ideas such as “You are special” and “Don’t take more than you need” to things that seem complex to think on explaining to a child now… “when we exaggerate everything, we forget what the truth is” and “fear of losing what you have can rob you of the joy of sharing”.  Though my adult brain wants to presume they’d be trite to read now maybe they still have something to say after all that would speak yet to our times.

Incidentally, one of the fun things about rummaging through my brain archives and trying to find sources for half-forgotten stories is learning things I never knew about them in the first place such as that these books inspired episodes of an anime series in 1983 combined in a movie here.  I’ve just watched the first 20 mins and I’m not seeing much resemblance but you know… fascinating.