Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Madeline on my mind

I was in Paris this summer with my daughter.  We explored and discovered the magic  for 2 1/2 days. It was an amazing way to to end our 12 day excellent European adventure.

I've noticed that the attacks on Paris have affected me differently than any other foreign terrorist attack of recent times.  Is it because we were just there?  Is it because we can visualize a Paris map and know where we were with respect to where things happened?  It is because we fell in love with Paris and now that it is hurting, we are too?  Whatever it is, we are feeling it.

And then there is Madeline, our beloved children's book by Ludwig Bemelmans.  I always loved Madeline and so when Tari loved her before the age of 4, I was thrilled.  Especially because at that age, you read and re-read and re-read the books again and again.  And in Tari's case, we actually got the audio books out, too, and I remember listening to those stories over and over and over and over, making car rides quite bearable if bearable means listening to the same story at least 12x.

I still have Tari's Madeline doll, although she has moved from her bedroom to my library.  We also bought her the Madeline book that teaches about manners.  I think Tari was having some etiquette issues and we thought if anyone can teach her how to be polite, it will be Madeline.  I think it worked.

Being the kind of person that always wants to be surrounded by friends, family and love, I envied Madeline.  Twelve girls in two straight lines, together, forever. There would never be a loss for a friend or someone to play with.  I was envious. She even made getting your appendix out look fun.

Here it is, November and it's Picture Book Month.  This is a time set aside to celebrate picture books. A time to single out the beauty and wonderfulness of picture books.  Some of my all time favorites are truly the classics:  Madeline, Where the Wild Things Are, Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, The Snowy Day, I'll Fix Anthony even The Little House.  There are more--too many to name! I have newer ones as favorites now too:  Flotsam, Knuffle Bunny, Beekle, Nana in the City and even a 2015 favorite, Float, that I hope gets a medal of some sort in January.

There is nothing like turning the pages of picture book and taking in the sights, sounds and text of each page. In 32 pages, picture books take you to places you have never been, real or imagined.  They introduce you to new friends, new ideas and even teach you how to solve problems and continually stress the importance of family and loved ones.  They are the most perfect way to escape, learn and explore.  Happy Picture Book Month!

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