Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Sound of Silence

Today is day two of Children's Book Week, a week dedicated to promoting children's literature and getting kids and adults alike to sit down and read together. Today I'm sharing a favorite book from way, way, way back when. In the spirit of full disclosure, I'm pretty sure one reason this was a favorite book was because it was long, or so it seemed to a Prekindergartener who would attempt to postpone the afternoon nap as long as possible. And actually, it wasn't that I was anti-nap, I was just always having more fun reading, playing a game or singing songs. Ahhh, the good old days.

Play with Me
by Marie Hall Ets

Like yesterday's book Frederick, Play with Me was also a Caldecott Honor Book. The Caldecott medal is an artist's award for children's picture books, and you could think of a Caldecott Honor Book as a runner-up. It's a sweet, innocent story with very gentle illustrations. A little girl goes outside and sees all sorts of animals. She wants them to play with her, but every time she runs toward them, they run away. Sadly, she sits down on an old log and wonders why nobody will play with her. One by one, the animals return until she realizes that when she was sitting very quietly and not moving, "all of them, ALL of them were playing with me."

Where are you going to find a sentiment like that anymore? Here is a book about nature and children and animals that tells a story about the wonderful things that can happen when you go outside, sit down and just be quiet and aware. I always thought it was a special story, especially at the end when a fawn came and licked my cheek.

And it's not just the coolest thing ever when you're four years old. A couple weeks ago GramTuna and I were taking a walk in the woods, and came across five or six deer. We stood and watched them watching us for a long time. I finally looked at Gram and whispered "and a fawn came and licked my cheek!"

The excitement I felt standing so very still as I watched those deer just a few feet away from me? I might as well have been four years old all over again. It was the coolest thing ever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another book I've never heard of - must be a cultural difference.
Thinking back to the books I read to my then 2 (now 12) years old daughter, lines came back to me and after thinking some more I could recite several verses.
Some things you never forget.