Monday, November 22, 2010

Children's Books

Sometimes, I can remember the whole book: "In an old house in Paris, all covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines."  Madeline, Miss Clavel, Pepito, the bad hat, Genevieve, the dog, they all ring clear, straight bells.  

Sometimes, I can remember the pictures: the maroony colors of the Hungry Caterpillar or the sketched line drawings of Noisy Nora, the tinyness of Matilda, and puffed cheek cloud of The Runaway Bunny.  

Sometimes, I remember the words: "So, he called his dog Max, and he took some red thread, and he tied a big horn on the top of his head."  Mount Crumpit?  Seuss was a genius.

And sometimes I forget that I ever knew anything about a book, until I see it again.  And then, not only the words, pictures, rhymes, rhythms and stories come back but the sense of soap bubble, giddy, reasonless glee.  Recently, I went with a wonderful friend to a wonderful bookshop called Daunt.  It is  Edwardian and has that lemony paper and wood smell of a long loved bookshop.  Lined in lean oak shelves, it is perfect.  And there, in slim volumed rows, they all were.  

I love how smell and image and sound and rhythm and memory come together with such a clean snapping thump when all at once, a book that made you so happy comes bouncing back.  We giggled and looked and shopped and brought some goodies home for her wonderful children and so it starts all over again...

pages written so far this week: 2


  1. The bookstore sounds divine, Priya. And I am ALREADY getting a lot of pleasure anticipating the rediscovery of stories of childhood... I think I'll start reading to this baby before he or she is even home from the hospital!

  2. Lovely reminder... it is indeed magical:

    In an old house in Paris, all covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines....

    Read Aloud Dad


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