Friday, July 23, 2010

Stories to Inhabit Part 2: Books from the Inside Out

We read these three books this afternoon, gifts from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which is sponsored here by our local chapter, Cherokee County First Steps. This is a ministry that targets poorer areas of the country and provides every child who signs up a free book every month from birth until their 5th birthday. Needless to say, the mailbox is checked with much enthusiasm when the long awaited time draws near.

I have also been pleased by the quality of the books and stories. Some of them are a bit on the silly side, which we all need a little of, and some have truly inspiring messages to impart.

The first book we read, "The Spiffiest Giant in Town" is one such gem. I won't give too much away, but it is about a giant who wanders sadly around in tattered sandals and a worn out, old gown. He is tired of being so shabby so he buys himself a new suit. He is now the spiffiest giant in town. But he keeps meeting fellow creatures in desperate predicaments, and each time, he sacrifices a bit of his new wardrobe. He is left with almost nothing, but the end is absolutely glorious, the revelation of "a prince in beggar's clothing". The detailed, fairy tale hodge-podge illustrations are also captivating and, at times, whimsical (like a princess walking along holding hands with a frog), with more to discover with each subsequent reading.

"Pip and Squeak" remind me of two little girls I know, who can be so competitive that they end up hampering their own endeavors. But, like these two little mice, they occasionally find that when working together, their stars shine brighter than when selfishly pursuing their own advancements. The pictures are a cleverly created mouse world, with a whole village made from odds and ends in a very "Borrowers" fashion.

The third book, "Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come", was pretty good, other than being a sycophantic puppet dance for the educational hierarchy. But it did show kids doing fun things, in a fun oriented room, which is something we can do here at home. Like the young hero, Henry, my little ones found painting to be the activity that excited them most.

And that's just.....

...what they....


1 comment:

Grace said...

those books sounds great! There is something magical about painting. I have always felt that way, and now Lacey loves it too.