Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Discovering a Beloved Book

Discovering a Beloved Book

When our children take a moment to seek out and to peruse our family's library shelves in our front living room, occasionally they will come across the perfect book to suit their current interests. As children grow, their interests change, but the memory of a good book can linger throughout a lifetime.

Pleasure reading is something not all young people have come to truly appreciate, a gift to sit a spell and take in the adventure or setting before them. However, there are times when just the perfect theme sparks unprecedented creativity beyond the reading itself and this is truly when the fun begins.

After devouring the all of our copies of "The Littles" and "The Borrowers" book series from our shelves, it would seem this theme of "wee people" stories only compliments our young daughter's other favorite and imaginary producing beloved books, with pages full of beauty and heart rendering tales. Oh yes, all of our collected "Flower Fairies" books by original fairy author Cicely Mark Barker are treasured books in this home. We have many, here are but a few;

Recently after the discovery of the "Flower Friends" chapter books with the same beautiful characters, she has decided to collect them all. So far, she has three of these books, and admittedly they have literally captured her heart. Not to be confused with other "fairies" currently popular on the book stacks, those that are seemingly only riding the flower fairy fad wave, these other ones are the real ones! Oh yes, the real ones, not the Disney ones, or any others out there today.

As an aside, Here's a website with all new interactive play. Meet the botanically correct fairies, dress them up and print off your paper doll creations, grab a screen saver and so much more.

With our daughter's current intrigue with "wee folks", it was touching to see her depart to her bedroom yesterday, new book discovery in hand from the family library, escaping from the hubbub of the household with everyone scurrying about to present a tidy home for a Realtor home showing imminent at any moment.

Soon after when a car was spotted rolling down the driveway, I went to corral the children and found her completely enthralled in a beloved family book, an old library discard version, titled; "Brambley Hedge - Spring Story by Jill Barklem". Totally akin to Beatrix Potter, the artwork alone is worth the browse alone, but to compliment them, the stories are sweet and adventurous that even adults like them and go crazy over on eBay for original works, similar to Tasha Tudor.

Completely enthralled, imagination soaring again...
(Check out her new leggings she decided to wear
under her skirt. Cute even with the mishmash of colors.)

She pointed out her favorite page to me below, and even as an adult, I can see the attraction to the sweet little mice critters there (we went to the author's website to view them all because they were so cute!). Let's face it folks! It's that time of year and hands down - we'd rather read about mice in the book than have them enter into our homes, right?

Her favorite scene from this story

There are so many beautiful books out there for children with great literary quality worth the reads! Why oh why do people hover around mediocre or fad (!) tales with no substance when books such as these are so readily available? I know why, do you?

Ever visit a local big box bookstore chain lately only to find they seldom carry nothing but faddish twaddle, stuff people buy on impulse because they think children will like it rather than take the time to pre-read the stories themselves and find the very best to offer a child instead? There is such a grand push to present consumers with snappy happy books, quick money making grabs offering almost incredible junk quality reads, rather than filling the minds of our little people with the very best.

For these reasons and others, this is why I have taken the time over the years to collect fine quality reads for the inclusion on our shelves for our children to read. Many are long out of print, perhaps rare, but even though it's cumbersome to keep a family library such as ours, the books still hop on and off the shelves as old favorites are often revisited year after year. Now that puts a smile on my face! Willing readers...yes!
  • Why not avoid the common denominator of "twaddle quality"? Get book vendors heads spinning by making special book orders as often as possible in person so they begin to wonder why their store's shelves aren't stocked with them.
  • Suggest book purchases to your local librarian, and book vendors, and then refer future customers to booksellers who are willing to order better quality children's reads and keep them in stock.
  • Offer your children a challenge with finer literary worthy reading selections and present them with delightful characters to fill their hearts with absolute pleasure.

Just my two cents for today (smile). Happy Reading!