July 01, 2003

Book shopping is next to

Book shopping is next
to shoe shopping in the thrill of the hunt. There are so many similarities. So
many choices, styles, colors. Some are comfy, some aren't so comfy but look so
damn good you have to wear them! Some are for going out in and some are for
stepping out in. Some are quick and easy. Others are a little more challenging.
I went book shopping this morning. We finally have a decent book store in town
(coffee house, too, but will discuss that one later). I typically get my books
on-line, but I have to be familiar with the book. See, just like shoes, I need
to try on the book: check out the colors of the illustrations, feel the thing in
my hands. Anyway, I picked out some of my favorites to give to Eddie's children:
The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth and Leo Tolstoy; The Quiltmaker's Gift by
Jeff Brumbeau, illustrated by Gail De Marcken; The Empty Pot by Demi; The
Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, and Whoever You Are by Mem Fox. Criteria
for selecting children's picture books: 1) Must have creative illustrations, not
just "pretty" but sometimes unique and positively engaging. 2) Must have good
content. Silliness; seriousness; a bit of both. 3) Maybe a lesson learned, in a
new and un-thought-of manner. The best are the ones that you can't know what the
next page holds. All of the above mentioned books we own and fit all of the
criteria. I usually prefer the original illustrators of earlier works because
the the illustrations represent what the author wanted to convey to the readers
imagination. There is magic in those original illustrations. I took my oldest
daughter to see "Holes" on Thursday night. She had listened to the audio CD and
was just emphatic about seeing the movie. I trust her opinion in literature (she
has impeccable taste and an unusual discernment for her age) and so we went. We
shared popcorn, got our fav drinks, and passed a box of milk duds back and
forth. The movie was interesting and held my attention the entire time. My only
complaint would be that as a person not having read the book, the twists and
turns and trying to make all the connections between them was difficult and
would have been more so had I not had my navigator (dd) with me. Speaking of
books, I read The Wonder of Girls by Michael Gurian last year and it is such an
innovative book. He writes from a refresingly different perspective about how
our daughters develop. Frankly, I was getting overloaded with "it's all
societies fault; men are the bad guys," blah, blah, blah. That's not to say that
those things aren't part of the problem, but they don't create the problems,
only contribute. He writes from a neurological/sociological perspective. I
walked away with fresh understanding of my oldest daughter. I am not the oracle
of wisdom now, but feel as if I have the tools to step away from her hormones
and the monumental changes she is enduring, to have a bit more compassion. I
feel that this book helped me help her feel empowered by knowing herself and
what she wants. He speaks of the imortance of a girl being surrounded and
encouraged by those that know her well and can remind her of who she is and
where she comes from as she reaches to define herself to herself.

Posted by Rae at July 1, 2003 10:21 AM
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