Guaranteed Filth-Free

If your children are a little young for Bell Mountain, or Narnia, or Freddy the Pig, let me share with you an author whose work always delighted me when I was a little boy–Thornton W. Burgess.

From 1910 to 1960 Burgess wrote more than 170 books. His syndicated daily newspaper column, Bedtime Stories, produced more than 15,000… well, bedtime stories. The books are easy enough for a child to read, and ideal for being read aloud to your kids. Many of them are available on, and if you wish to know more, check out the Thornton W. Burgess Society ( ).

These charming little books are about the adventures of woodland characters like Peter Rabbit, Jimmy Skunk, Grandfather Frog, and a host of others. Burgess, a lifelong conservationist, hoped to pass on to his young readers a love of nature. Certainly in my case he succeeded! The stories are sweet, humorous, cozy, and guaranteed filth-free: anything more wholesome can hardly be imagined.

The natural world, the heavens and the earth and everything in them, all of God’s creation, is God’s present to Himself. He has lavished love upon this planet, and clothed it in beauty. We ought to rejoice in His handiwork, as He does. Unless your heart is desperately hard, your mind hopelessly dull, and your eyes as blind as pebbles, you can’t look on God’s workmanship and not see Him. And love Him.

I can’t say for sure that that was the message that Thornton Burgess intended; but looking back on those books after the passage of so many years, all I can say is, that’s the message that I got.

PS–The link to Bedtime Stories takes you to some fershlugginah movie from 2008, not to Burgess’ column of the same name. Please ignore it.

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