Visiting the Browns
Illustrations by Leslie Haywood From the Gatenby Books
Visuals of Learning English
The illustrations are from "A Direct Method English Course, Book I" by E. V. Gatenby, which is the first of a series of text books that were used in secondary and high school English language courses in Turkey during the '60s.
The visuals, illustrated by Leslie Haywood, were ingrained in my mind well into adulthood.
As I study the pictures now, I cherish the innocent, protected, and presumably happy world of the Mr. and Mrs. Brown's that depict very proper manners—whether it is truly reflective of a bygone era, or merely suggestive of an imagined one, or perhaps as an inherent attribute of being English.
Since my only purpose is to reminisce a childhood influence from a graphical perspective (and pay proper respect to the illustrator Leslie Haywood), I will not delve deep into discussions regarding the cultural and social aspects of the Gatenby books, however Elif Şafak's article Grammatical Errors is one good example in that regard. I do see her point from a story-telling perspective, and it may be generalized to be applicable to many Omers of those days, however I would not necessarily blame the books—after all, books are just one of the elements within an educational system, and it is the schools and the teachers who are directly responsible for patching the "holes punched here and there," as Şafak puts it.
Lastly, I am not the Ömer referenced in Şafak's story, which is a rather amusing coincidence from my perspective, but one can compare the humble writings of this Ömer to Elif Safak's own eloquent prose to prove the point of her article!
For reference purposes, the publishing notes from the copy of the book that I have are as follows:
English Boys and Girls
(Mr. and Mrs. Brown and their children, George, Mary, Rose and Jack.)
In the Morning
In the Afternoon
In the Evening
Telling a Story
Going to Work
(An image that really makes you want to hurry up and finish your studies and venture out to work as an adult! </sarcasm>)
A captivating image nevertheless.