Friday, April 14, 2006

My Week On The Sofa...

I've done a respectable amount of reading recently which I, of course, have failed to note here. To begin with, I've read the early Babar books by Jean de Brunhoff. I truly felt as if this needed to be done and, now, since reading them, I'm wondering what all the fuss has been about, historically and personally.

I didn't enjoy The Story of Babar The Little Elephant, Babar The King or Babar and His Children. Perhaps, if read in the original French... Anyway, I didn't find anything at all amazing about the text or in the illustrations. Why is Babar so popular? I know that this will be a question that motivates me to read more about the elephant king.

This past week also, having found a vintage, non-ex libris copy of Amelia Bedelia and a more recent edition of Come Back, Amelia Bedelia, both by Peggy Parish, both on the library sale shelf, both were read in a rare few moments of silence.

Surprisingly, these two books are quite philosophical: they articulate the quest to find ourselves in a unique way. Jump ahead one paragraph to avoid what might be a spoiler: Amelia Bedelia's glaring deficiencies in certain areas of her life actually illustrate this quest without the character's personal insight.

(I'd only vague memories of hearing about the titular character in my adulthood. Having been deprived of children's books in my childhood is actually giving me a great sense of discovery.)

Just when it seemed that The Cat in the Hat and Babar and The Ghost would be the extent of bedtime reading...My daughter now requests Olivia and Olivia and The Missing Toy by Ian Falconer (primarily, the latter). I can't recall just how I stumbled across this little gem of a character but I do remember that I'd hoped that my little girl would like it. Now that she's old enough to appreciate it--she's almost three--my wish has come true. Olivia, the pig with lots of personality, has become part of the family.

My husband, back from a short business trip later in the week, brought us books as presents: for the little one, it was When I Miss You: A Concept Book by Cornelia Maude Spelman, illustrated by Kathy Parkinson; for me, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

During baby nap-times and moments of relative peace (for I'm able to read with background noise), I've bored much of the way through Blowing My Cover: My Life As A CIA Spy And Other Misadventures by Lindsay Moran. Unfortunately, I did not read anything of Middlemarch this week.

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