Ester's birthday is coming up soon. I thought we should get her a book. She seemed to be into princesses the last time we had seen her, and so I chose one with Disney princesses. It's a step-into-reading treasury included with six stories, a two sided princess poster and 24 miniature princess stickers. I think she will like it.
We were at Costco and Roland didn't seem in too much of a hurry and so I took my time looking through some other books that were on display. I smiled as I read "Everybody Loves Bacon" written by Kelly Dipucchio and illustrated by Eric Wight.
Besides the wonderful illustration, I found it to be a clever story on remembering your friends and what might happen to someone who gets a swelled head. I think Tony would have enjoyed the same humor that I found, but I don't know if Ester would have felt the same charge (she is turning four. I actually don't know how she feels about bacon)
There were two books by Eric Carle. Jenna has always LOVED anything Eric Carle.
I felt the first one was too juvenile for Ester and guessed she will like the Disney Princess collection better. Roland thought we should just send a gift card. Granted, it would be more economical from our end. But I don't like gift cards overall. I think Ester will be more excited to receive a book in the mail than a gift card that she wouldn't understand.
I suppose it really would not be that outrageous for Tony and Rochelle (Ester's parents) as it seems like they are always out shopping.
I really liked the illustrations and photography of Pharrell Williams popularized song: "Happy" Ester might like it, but Tony told me that he was sick of hearing the song, so I don't think he would be too excited to read it to her - though I did consider it.
The next book I saw was called "Invisible Fred". It looked interesting, but the illustrations became rather boring. I couldn't see that it would hold anyone's attention for very long.
The last book that I picked up was called "Robo-Sauce" written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri.
Once again it was a book that made me think of Jenna. She's very into robots and imagination and creating. That triggered some other memories of books that Jenna and I used to read together when we were still living in Kearns - some of which I have briefly mentioned in this post
There are three or four stories which I would cry as I read. One was called "The Robot and the Bluebird" by David Lucas. A book about loneliness, love and sacrifice.
A bluebird, flying south for the winter, stops to rest with a robot who claims he has no heart. He was left abandoned and is of no use to anybody. He allows the bluebird to stay in the compartment which once housed his heart. It is a beautiful story.
Everything Max Lucado writes seems to be gold. Of course there are stories I like better than others. The first Max Lucado I was introduced to was "You are Special". It is about a puppet who lives in the kingdom of toys (or at least that is how I perceive it; they are actually a made-up name called Wemmick's living in Wemmickville under their creator, Eli) where everyone is labeled.
Gold stars (I think it's gold stars; it's been a while since I've read it) are the best kind of labels. Grey circles (or dots) are the worse. The main character (whose name is Punchinello) seems to have more than his share of grey dots which he allows to affect his mood until he meets one who refuses to wear either dots or stars. The message is simple. The words were powerful enough to make the tears flow. Even if I were to read it now, I am certain that the tears would come.
On our return from Roseburg to Myrtle Creek, Jenna and I made comments about modern day fairytales, and how grateful we are that someone put a spin on things and made us stop and realize that it may have been Goldilocks who was at fault and the bears were the victims. After all, she did break into their home, she stole their breakfast. She vandalized baby bear's chair.
Hansel and Gretel were trespassing when they came upon the witches house. Did they ever think to knock on her door and ask for help? They broke off pieces of the witches home and helped themselves.
I have also seen an account where Cinderella was the one stuck on herself and the step sisters are the ones who were excluded and did have moments of displaying displeasure because of how they had been treated.
My favorite story from another's point of view was "Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter" by Diane Stanley.
Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter tricks the king into serving his subjects so that they will serve him in a respectful manner. Her name is revealed at the end of the story. So clever.
There are dozens of versions of "The Monkeys and the Mangos" I had actually never even heard of it until I checked out a book of stories retold. I can't even remember who compiled it - though I think I do have it written down somewhere. It's just a matter of finding which flash drive it may be on.
Jenna has often requested for me to tell this one, though it is very hard for me to get through - though I find a condensed version doesn't break out as many tears as the first version I read. Here is just one version
I miss reading those stories to my small family members.