Tomes and Talismans

For me, elementary school kicked ass. Besides being in a constant dream world at the time, I got introduced to alot of cool things. Much of this coolness was because of our librarian, Mrs. Gnadinger. Librarians are pretty much underrated as school personalities go. They don’t get much credit but in this case our librarian went above and beyond and genuinely enjoyed enlightening us.

Mrs. Gnadinger was an exciting storyteller and responsible for introducing me to books like Where the Wild Things Are, The Giving Tree, and The Polar Express. The combination of the many great children’s books that came out at that time and her excitement over reading them to us made for alot of fun. When she read these books she helped make them play out in our heads with ease. At that age most of us were fidgety and acted like we had A.D.D. but Mrs. Gnadinger made us all listen and snatched us up and brought us to another world.


Occasionally we would watch videos or films of the books that we were reading for that time period. One day during a library session around 1986 Ms. Gnadinger opened up a box in front of us that came in the mail for her. Judging by her glowing apperance I thought she might’ve recieved the Holy Grail or something. We were all curious.


She took out a VHS tape and popped it in the VCR. After the lowbudget apocalyptic Star Trek type intro the title Tomes & Talismans appeared on the screen. What followed was a serialized sci-fi fantasy about “Wipers,” a group of terrorists trying to wipe the knowledge from the people on earth. The swerve here was that the show incorporated library lessons on everything from the dewey decimal system all the way to microfiche. It even prominently featured a bookmobile. Remember those coming to school every once in a while?


When I was a kid I was fascinated by Tomes and Talismans and it stuck with me ever since. I went on a wild goose chase for years and finally got a hold of it through the actual cable station that produced it. To my dismay, after I got the videos in the mail, the entire series was already uploaded on You Tube! I never thought to check there. I could have saved some moolah but at least I have the entire set in my hands. Re-watching this series was a total timewarp. I must say, as bad as it was, it was actually enjoyable to relive. It’s sort of like watching old episodes of Today’s Special or Pinwheel. The nostalgia factor is definitely in full effect but the series did have some cheesy merit. If anyone saw this as a kid or if you were a fan of this show, please leave a comment! Those people who have ever heard about this show are few and far between.