Tuesday, November 20, 2007

we're eating a lot of garlic

If they say two weeks makes a habit, then I just blew it: unlike the preceding two Tuesdays, there will not be a post about a children's book today. I had a book in mind or, rather, a particular author, but a certain book was in my head to share and I can't find it. I haven't seen it since we moved, so who knows where it ended up. I'll keep looking, for another day.

This day was all about staying home and staying warm; some seasonal sniffley something is lurking around and I'm trying to fiend it off. I feel fine, but the children seem on the brink of falling ill. We've had complaints of sore throats and headaches (from the speaking child) and a general fingers-in-mouth crabbiness (from the still mostly mono-syllable one), though the latter might be more a case of impending two year molars than an unwelcome virus. And the husband, I'm afraid, has a full-blown cold, and felt so rotten he had to leave work mid-day for the retreat of an empty bed.

And instead of having an uneasy conscience pricking him and whispering "Whitewash!" he somehow could only feel how jolly it was to to be the only idle dog among all these busy citizens.. After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.

Well, looky here, I find myself right where I started -at a children's book- without even meaning to, but the quote popped into my head and I don't ever miss an opportunity to blather on about The Wind In The Willows, so I had to type it out. That's an excerpt from the first chapter of what is my favorite favorite favorite book for reading aloud. It's always a little shyly that I ever mention how much I adore this book because, I guess I assume everyone's read it. But I'd never read it myself until I read it for the first time to my daughter five years ago when she was three. So maybe that I don't meet that many other folks who also love it so much is less about folks having previously read and dismissed it and more about it just being vaguely familiar but not personally encountered. Is this the case?

That book plopped right down into the middle of our family and it's just a huge reference point now. We read it all the way through every Spring but thumb through certain passages frequently. It's a book that my daughter, the voracious bookworm, says is so much better to listen to than to read to yourself and I, the enthusiastic reader-alouder, agree. If I can indulge in a smidge of vanity for a moment, I love the way my voice sounds reading this book. Which is not to say that I love the sound of my voice, oh no. I'm certainly one of those people who always winces when hearing my recorded voice played back. It's just such a perfectly written book, so lilting and musical with wonderfully long and descriptive sentences, that I get a little thrill hearing regular old me speak so elegantly. It's in the ranking for my not just my top kid book ever, but maybe my top any-kind of book. It's just that good. I do regret, a little, that I made the Toad's voice so deep and raspy the first time I read it because now nothing else will do and it makes my throat hurt just thinking about it.

Or am I on the brink of something sniffly, too?

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