We really haven't gotten our share of April showers this year, but the flowers are blooming nonetheless. We've always loved the story in this book. It's interesting that a common devise in fairy/folk tales is a childless couple longing for a child of their own. Here there's a good dose of magic, love, nature and a bittersweet but happy ending.
Silver Pennies is one of my favorite books of poetry for children, so when I learned there was a second volume I decided to track down a copy.
I've been in a cranky mood (I blame no sun outside and a list of Monday chores) and poor Charlotte has born the brunt of my snapping and snarling. I think this book will be just the thing to snuggle up and read with her and lift my spirits a bit.
Once again Blanche Jennings Thompson gives lovely introductions to the poems.
The Poems you cherish in youth will still be your friends in age, for no matter how old you grow You still need a silver penny To get into Fairyland.
I love that she included poems by James Joyce, an Indian woman, and some African American poets
There's plenty of Sara Teasdale, which of course makes me happy, and look at this wonderful one by Harold Lewis Cook.
My mom would not appreciate this one about mice.
I had no idea that Amelia Earhart wrote poems, but we read one here:
And this one Dust of Snow by Robert Frost was good for me today:
It's my brother, Ben's, birthday today. I was 10 when he was born and I remember really wanting a little brother. He certainly could drive me crazy (my teenage best friend once told me she had never seen me get so angry as when I was angry at him.). But I sure do love him! This was his favorite book growing up. I can still picture my mom and dad reading it to him.
I know he has his own copy now. And we just found ours at the thrift store. You can't read it without lapsing into a foot-thumping Appalachian drawl. So Happy Birthday, little brother! We'll read this today in honor of you.
While yesterday was warm and teeming with bright-eyed, optimistic sunshine, today has turned out to be grey and chilly. Though it's good tea drinking weather (and for snuggling under the blanket on the couch), all day I've been trying to pull myself out of a weather-induced funk with coffee and list making. Finally I gave up being productive at all today, put on a sweater and took a nap with Charlotte on the sofa. Before she fell asleep we read through a pile of books, this being the best one for nap-time:
April 15th marks the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. We pulled out this book which has amazing photographs and a true story told through the eyes of a toy bear. It was written in 1913 by Daisy Spedden and given as a Christmas gift to her son. The original story is framed by a fascinating Introduction and Epilogue by Leighton H. Coleman III (a relative of the Speddens) who presents a portrait of life at that time and details, both sad and happy, of the Spedden's history.
The book follows the Spedden family who were part of the wealthy upper class at the turn of the 20th century. The titular bear is given as a gift to their son Douglas who brings it along on all the family's travels. The story is a glimps into that world of the "gilded age".
From the Epilogue:
The letters, diaries, photo albums and mementos of Daisy Spedden record a way of life that is gone forever. Turning the pages of Daisy's photo albums, one sees pictures of large houses with beautiful gardens, where elegantly dressed people attended parties. In the winter they boarded ocean liners to stay at grand hotels in places like Cannes, Madeira and Bermuda. No one had to work to make a living except the servants who took care of the children and the housework. Few of the small number of people who lived this way eighty years ago seemed to have thought their comfortable world would ever come to an end.
Through illustrations and original period photographs, the Spedden's experience on the Titanic is told. They were loaded into a lifeboat (Douglas holding his bear, Polar) and rescued by the Carpathia. But the book tells so much more than just the Titanic disaster. While on board the Carpathia, Douglas' mother and nanny help take care of the other survivors, regardless of their social positions.
But the world would soon ask the opposite question, demanding why so few people from third class had been rescued, and a popular song about the Titanic would claim that "they kept them down below where they were the first to go." Historians now point to the Titanic disaster, which was followed two years later by World War I, as the beginning of the end of an era where society was sharply divided between rich and poor.
I have one husband, three children, two cats and a house full of too many books to count. I love to read, ride my bike, bake, develop my own photographs, and I've been known to neglect all housework to play with my kids.