I've made a discovery. (I think I'm a year behind the rest of the world, but it's a discovery nonetheless.) It's a children's book called - enchantingly - The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente, and there are no words for how wonderful this book is. I came across a quote from it on Goodreads - my favourite online quotes bank - and was so hooked I ordered it immediately. (www.bookdepository.com.uk Highly recommended :) ) As a booklover I'm always on the lookout for good books for my kids, and I wholeheartedly agree with C.S. Lewis' view that "a children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest." I also like his rule to "never give a child a book to read that you wouldn't read yourself. (Was that C.S. Lewis? Might have been George Bernard Shaw.) One of the happiest days of my life was the day I discovered that my favourite writer as a child, Tove Jansson, also wrote adult fiction.
This is the sort of book you want to devour in one sitting, and annoy the people around you by making them listen to bits you read out. Which I'm about to do to you... This is one of my favourites:
"When you are born...your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off of staircases, saying your first words without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk and crusty things and dirt and fear and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you're half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it's so grunged up with living. So every once in a while you have to scrub it up and get the works going or else you'll never be brave again."
Glorious. And it got me thinking about my youngest boy. One of the things I love most about him - and, let's face it, find most terrifying as his mother - is how utterly fearless he is. I'd been about to do a layout for his album on our recent holiday, and this musing led to a completely different direction for the page. Here 'tis:
I remembered the e. e. cummings quote halfway through and decided it suited. I'd already stuck the little sun badge on, which echoed the quote's first line nicely. I love happy accidents like that.
I've managed to finish off a couple of other layouts too, so today's post takes us up to 35 for the year. I'm happy with that, even if it isn't the 52 I aimed for. Maybe next year....
Have a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year :)
PS: I've no idea why those first two layouts uploaded sideways. The computer is obviously feeling festive and whimsical :/
PPS: Just checked. George Bernard Shaw :)