The Children's Book Quote of the Day

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A Way Out October 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 8:20 pm

There is always a way out for those clever enough to find it. (from The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan)

People, I’m up to my ears in a paper that due tomorrow. I’m so, so close to having it written, but am having a hard time writing my way out of it. But there’s a way. I know there’s a way to finish this! I just have to be clever enough. Hope you’re having a more peaceful evening!

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Something dignified October 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 11:48 pm

Also there was something dignified about the way it stood its ground, in a strange place, confronted with strange animals. (from Babe The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith)

 

Cut our coat October 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 8:00 pm
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“Don’t worry about it, girls,” said Ma. “We must cut our coat to fit the cloth.” (from Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder)

It seems strange to me that we have so much more now than we’ve ever had before and things come so much easier because of the affordable technology available, yet we are more worried than ever. Everywhere I turn I hear complaints about the economy, the struggle to make ends meet. But if you get down to brass tacks, the people making these complaints are not really starving. We are unbelievably spoiled by our plenty and unaccountably worried about our small degrees of lack.

In this scene from Little Town on the Prairie, the Ingalls family is upset by the sudden demise of their entire corn crop when thousands of black birds swoop in to eat it where it grows. For years they have worked extra hard (as if the hard work of beginning a homestead and farm in a new place weren’t enough), taking on extra jobs to save up for Mary Ingalls to attend a college for the blind. Just when they feel they have enough to send her to college, the cash crop is destroyed completely. Pa shoots as many of the offending birds as possible and Ma industriously bakes them into a pie to make the best of the situation. They salvage what corn they can to dry for the family to eat later in the winter. But their cash crop, the income source with which they planned to buy necessities such as coal, is gone. Laura immediately assumes that this will keep her sister from realizing her dream of an education. She does not realize yet that her parents will sell a cow to buy the coal and meat for the winter, and send Mary to college as promised.

The coal is an absolute necessity. Supplies for the winter are a must. The cow provides cream and butter–luxuries that they have looked forward to, but not something they need to survive. College for Mary is also a luxury, and between the two, they decide to give her the gift of education and wait a year for their cream.

This is where I think we have strayed in our modern sensibilities: we no longer understand the difference between luxuries and necessities. If my husband and I have two cars and one breaks down, do we have to panic and pay to have it fixed or could we share the one working car until we can comfortably pay for repairs? How often have we said there is nothing to eat in the house, meaning really that there is nothing we currently crave to eat in the house? And should I stare despairingly at the electric bill after an insanely hot Texas summer even while I continue to pay for little luxuries like paper towels, fountain drinks, and movie rentals?

No, there is no real need to worry for most of us. We just need to learn to cut our coat to fit the cloth. Simplify. Check out the Laura Ingalls Wilder collection at your public library and be inspired by a harsher time but a simpler (and seemingly happier) way.

 

The Lovely Stillness October 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 2:13 pm

He hated to break the lovely stillness of dawn by using his voice.  (from Charlotte’s Web by E B White)

I’m bad at waking up. I can get up alright–I mean, get out of bed and drag my sleepy body into the kitchen for a cup of coffee–but actually feeling awake takes a lot longer. And I usually just want to go back to bed for a while, especially this semester when getting more than seven hours of sleep has become a rarely enjoyed luxury. In spite of that, though, I have always found that some of my favorite moments in a day come in those sleepy, half-awake moments, when the light filters in ever so softly and the world around me, even this teeming city, is quiet and peaceful, all potential and hopeful possibility. Before the day has had an opportunity to wring me out, before worry or stress has caught up to me, before Real Life begins in earnest, those still moments are beautiful, wonderful, restorative. It’s why I make it a point never to rush through a morning routine and always enjoy my coffee and breakfast. When I lived in Texas, I used to get up early in the summers to ride my horses. I would try to saddle up around daybreak, mostly because I wanted to beat the heat, but I quickly found that the peaceful morning was my favorite time of day and my favorite time to ride. Even now, even when it’s terribly hard to get out of bed and wake up, I find myself cherishing those moments of quietness and stillness. And, like Wilbur, I find that I am reticent to disturb the moment with the sound of my own voice.

 

Having the Wits October 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 10:22 pm

Getting something and having the wits to use it…those are two different things. (from The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan)

 

A habit October 19, 2011

Filed under: Chapter Books,Classics — Kristi @ 9:08 pm
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“You’ve tackled every job that ever came your way,” Pa said. “You never shirked, and you always stuck to it till you did what you set out to do. Success gets to be a habit, like anything else a fellow keeps on doing.” (from These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder)

 

Enough October 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 7:13 pm
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“Yes, as Ma would say, enough is as good as a feast,” Laura agreed.

(from These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder)