The Children's Book Quote of the Day

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Princess-y September 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 1:05 pm

Anabel had never worn a glass slipper. Not one. She had never danced all night or slept on a pea. Never. And she had never been kissed (by toad or prince). Ever.

But there was one thing (one very princess-y thing) that Anabel-not-Anabella could do better than any princess. (from The Hinky Pink by Megan McDonald)

I’ve never danced all night, worn a glass slipper, or slept on a pea. My name doesn’t end in -ella. But I can make a pie better than any princess. Truly, I make delicious pies. I’m just curious–what can you do better than any princess? Let’s celebrate our strengths today–go ahead and brag. What do you do really well?

 

The beginning of fairies September 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 9:45 pm

You see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. (from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie)

I went to a baby shower today. It made me think of this quote. I don’t know if there’s any better sound than the sound of a laughing baby. It makes you believe in things. When Benjamin was an infant, he would sometimes stare somewhere behind us and laugh out loud like something invisible was entertaining him. Maybe it was fairies. I think it was an angel. 🙂

 

Anyone but herself September 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 9:58 pm

Pauline was too happy and excited to want to be anyone but herself just then. (from Anne’s Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery)

 

There is a place September 27, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books — Kristi @ 11:10 pm
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“There is a place where you can go, where everything is–“

“Is what?” Dallas said.

“–where everything is magic,” the bird said. (from Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech)

Lovely little book. It will make you want to use the word “putrid” in everyday conversation, make up recipes to solve daily problems, and run through the trees making noise. I highly recommend it.

And I recommend looking at your home in a new way. Look at it through the eyes of a child. Jon and I live in a fairly small rent house owned by his parents. We have two bedrooms and one bathroom. If I’m looking at it only through my own eyes, I see carpet that needs replacing, walls that are too white, furniture stained with crayon marks, and a mess that never seems to be finally picked up. But if I look at it through Benjamin’s eyes, it is a wonderland of adventures and hidey-holes, climb-able terrain, endless buttons to push, a whole world to discover. A place where he does most of his adventuring and all of his snuggling, eating, and dreaming. A place where everything is magic. Home.

 

Live it September 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 6:49 pm

If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself. (from Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan)

Today, I shirked homework and went to hear the Boston Pops Orchestra perform on Boston Common.  It means that I’ll have to work pretty hard tonight and tomorrow to get my assignments done, but it was totally worth it.  In fact, so far, this whole move has been totally worth it.  Even when I miss my friends and family and horses and Tex-Mex and barbeque, I’m glad that I decided to come here.  Because this is my life–the only one I get–and I want to live every minute of it.

 

Giving Trees September 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 3:12 pm

Then one day the boy came to the tree and the tree said, “Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy.” (from The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein)

Today I went with friends to an orchard and picked apples.  It was fun, and beautiful, and it smelled wonderful.  And I’m pretty sure that if apples represent a fruit of the Spirit, it’s joy, because joy overflows at apple orchards.

 

Without you

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 9:00 am

Without you, I’m just a sock without a boot. (from Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech)

To Jon: Let’s multiply our six years by ten and grow to be an old sock and an old boot together.

 

Quixotic September 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 9:13 pm

It may have been quixotic, but it was magnificent. (from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie)

 When I read Peter Pan last year, I had to look up the word “quixotic” because I don’t think I had ever heard it before. Once I looked it up, I loved this quote. I have thought about it several times since then and quoted it in my head on a few occasions. In case you, like I, have never heard the definition of the word “quixotic,” here it is:

Definition of QUIXOTIC

I love the example sentences on Miriam Webster’s online dictionary:
“They had quixotic dreams about the future.”
“In this age of giant chain stores, any attempt at operating an independent bookstore must be regarded as quixotic.”
To both sentences I say, “It may be quixotic, but it’s magnificent.” To the second one I say, “You are a lone reed…” (Raise your hand if you know what I’m quoting, and I’ll know you are a kindred spirit.)
 

Good parents September 22, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books — Kristi @ 9:43 pm
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“Do you think we were good parents?”

Sairy turned to look at him. “Of course we were, once we made our mistakes and got over worrying so much. Sometimes I think we were just getting really good at it when all of a sudden those kids were grown up and gone.” (from Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech)

 

To be rocked September 21, 2010

Filed under: Chapter Books — Kristi @ 9:02 pm
Tags: , ,

Even when he was as old as ten or twelve, sometimes his mother would pull Tiller onto her lap and rock him, saying, “You’re never too old to be rocked.”

Tiller wondered what it would be like not to have trees and creeks and barns, and what it would be like never to have been rocked. (from Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech)

Almost exactly ten years ago I traveled to Romania with Buckner Orphan Care International for a ten-day “shoe delivery trip.” The program was called Shoes for Orphan Souls and we visited several orphanages to deliver brand new shoes and socks to children who had never had their own new shoes before. It was a humbling, heartbreaking, uplifting experience for me as a very young woman. I think about aspects of it at least twice a month.

One day we stopped at an orphanage just for babies and toddlers. We weren’t delivering shoes there and we only had about half an hour to see the place. Our instructions were to go in, pick up one or two babies and pray for them by name while we rocked or swayed. They told us the babies hardly ever get rocked. They said that they are just understaffed and overwhelmed and the best some facilities can do is give them shelter, clothing, and nutrition. Comforting their cries in a rocking chair is just too much to ask.

Since I was still in high school when I took this trip, I was required to make up a certain amount of schoolwork along the way. One of my classes was a hands-on student teaching and observation class for future teachers, so I didn’t exactly have homework. My teacher assigned me a research project to go along with my trip as a way to make up for the time I missed observing in Elementary School classrooms. I researched early brain development and the effects of the orphanage environment on the development of the children. It was heartbreaking to read the studies, to know how vitally important things like being held and rocked are to the development of young children, and to see these precious babies who were missing out. Being held and rocked and sung to are things you can never get back if you miss them at the first. The window closes.

When Benjamin was just a few months old, his pediatrician cautioned me that rocking him to sleep every night would be a headache later. He said Benjamin needed to learn how to self-soothe in order to put himself back to sleep if he woke in the night. But the words “self-soothe” always brought to mind a toddler I saw in a Romanian orphanage, swaying alone in a crib, chewing on his hand until it was raw and red. I rocked Benjamin to sleep far longer than is recommended, but I just couldn’t help it. When I was seventeen years old, I promised myself that if I ever had a baby I would rock him and rock him and rock him.

It was hard to train Benjamin to go to sleep on his own later. It took three grueling nights of letting him cry for twenty minutes, then comforting him, then letting  him cry twenty minutes more, then comforting him again. But each night he cried less and less. And it was worth it to me, to rock my baby, to know that he will never know what it was like never to have been rocked. And someday, when he’s a little older, I’ll teach him to pray for the orphans.