The Children's Book Quote of the Day

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Impossible Things January 30, 2010

Filed under: Classics — Shanna @ 8:22 pm

Alice laughed.  “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one ca’n’t believe impossible things.”  “I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen.  “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day.  Why, sometimes, I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” (from Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll)

I guess you never really know what you’re capable of until you try.

 

Forget the way January 29, 2010

Filed under: Classics — Kristi @ 8:03 pm

When people grow up they forget the way. (from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie)

 

Together January 28, 2010

Filed under: Picture Books — Kristi @ 7:21 pm

We were so busy hugging and eating and breathing together. (from The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant)

 

14 Cows January 27, 2010

Filed under: Picture Books — Kristi @ 3:20 am
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Because there is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort. (from 14 Cows For America by Carmen Agra Deedy in collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah)

Benjamin and I went to the library today and came home with a bag full of Bluebonnet books, some of the 2009 selections that we had been unable to check out earlier and a few of the new 2010 selections. One of the 2009 books was so bad I couldn’t read it without laughing at the author’s thinly-veiled agenda and boring prose. There are very few children’s books I dislike this much.

But then I picked up 14 Cows for America and…wow! Benjamin was already in bed so I read it to Jon. At the end of the story we were both in tears. It is the story of an incredible act of generosity from a Kenyan tribe to the American people after the devastation of September 11, 2001. I should have saved this quote for the next anniversary of that day, but I just couldn’t wait. This book is too good not to pass on right away.

First of all, the true story is one to “burn a hole in your heart” as the book says. Secondly, Carmen Agra Deedy tells it with such simplicity and grace as to take nothing away from the power of it. And finally, the illustrations by Thomas Gonzalez are absolutely gorgeous. It’s not even going on the amazon wishlist; it’s going straight into the shopping cart!

 

Tubby January 26, 2010

Filed under: Classics — Kristi @ 4:57 pm
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A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise. (from Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne)

Must get to the gym. Must get to the gym. Must get to the gym.

 

How we use them

Filed under: Classics — Kristi @ 4:33 am

But of course, we can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts. (from A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle)

 

Flying Burritos January 24, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books,Young Adult — Shanna @ 10:13 pm

Now, if you have never been hit by a flying burrito, count yourself lucky.  In terms of deadly projectiles, it’s right up there with grenades and cannonballs. (from Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan)

In other words, if you ever find yourself in a food-fight with zombie-skeleton monsters, reach for the burrito.

 

A Silken Thread January 23, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books,Classics — Shanna @ 10:48 pm

Bold as he was, however, I rather fancy that it strengthened his valiant heart, just at this crisis, to feel a tremulous twitch at the silken cord, which he was still holding in his left hand.  It was as if Ariadne were giving him all her might and courage; and, much as he already had, and little as she had to give, it made his own seem twice as much. (from “The Minotaur” in Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne)

If you are unfamiliar with this story from Classical mythology, the hero Theseus had entered the impossibly bewildering labyrinth in order to fight the Minotaur.  Ariadne had helped Theseus to escape his prison, recover his sword, and find the entrance to the labyrinth, and then she held onto the end of a spool of thread, which Theseus took so that he would be able to find his way back out after he had defeated the monster.  In Hawthorne’s retelling, Ariadne would pull on the tread from time to time to give a little encouragement to the hero, and though I think Hawthorne thinks too little of her might and courage, I agree with his assessment that her encouragement would surely have made Theseus feel more courageous.  It’s always nice to feel connected to someone who is on our side and believes in us.  Encouragement is my favorite form of communication.

 

Help

Filed under: Picture Books — Shanna @ 3:06 am

People are happy helping.  It’s never hard to find help.  It is only hard to know that it’s time to ask. (from Brundibar as retold by Tony Kushner)

(By the way, it’s still January 22 here.)

 

Grown up January 22, 2010

Filed under: Classics — Kristi @ 3:05 am
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Because I am grown up, dearest. When people grow up they forget the way. (from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie)

Benjamin was standing up in the bathtub, holding on to the side. Jon was sitting on the bath stool and I was sitting on the floor next to the tub. We weren’t making faces or singing or doing finger plays or anything seemingly funny, but for some reason Benjamin was squealing with laughter. He would act like he was going to touch Jon’s knee, then pull his hand back at the last minute and just laugh. This went on until the water was cold. I wish we knew what was going on in that little head. What could have possibly been so funny about Jon’s knee? I think babies have some secret jokes that grown ups have forgotten the way to. I wish we hadn’t. There is no laughter like that again in life–the laughter that is totally pure and unspoiled by worry or knowledge or heartache or skepticism. When something is just knee-slapping funny for no reason and you don’t even know that reason exists. That would be nice.