Shelf Control & More

Sharing some recent reads, thoughts on reading, and more this week:

George Dunlap Leslie, Alice in Wonderland, 1879

In Maria Tatar’s Enchanted Hunters, she talks about the value and the relationship (along with the evolution) of parents reading to children. This painting, is posted, and I love the expression of the child as she concentrates in a relaxed but focused way.

“The classic stories of childhood endure in part because we feel moved to pass on what touched us when we were young. As Wordsworth put it: ‘What we have loved/others will love, and we will teach them how’.”

I also loved this post from Ecstatic titled, “Shouldn’t Children’s Books Still Be Beautiful?

Indeed, you may have recognized the book in question: these are the opening sentences of Kenneth Grahame’s gorgeous Wind in the Willows, the most recent read-aloud book I got to enjoy with my kids. We usually have a couple of books that we are reading aloud together, about a chapter at a time. It takes us a couple of weeks or a bit longer even to finish each one, but this slow reading allows us to savor these books. And in this case, from the very beginning, savoring has been the mode.

Publisher’s synopsis: “You have a whole wing of the house to yourselves. The glorious world outside to play in. All that the earth brings forth to feed you, and you stand there asking foolish questions until my head reels. Help yourselves, children, help yourselves.” Then, flapping her cloak as if to shoo off a clutter of chickens, Great Aunt Dymphna was gone.’

Summer will be different for the Gareth children this year. Their father, an epidemiologist, is ill abroad, and their mother must go to help him. So Alex, Penny, Naomi and Robin are sent to Ireland to stay with an eccentric distant relative.

This was a delightful read from Streatfeild. He’s written the Ballet Shoes series, and his work always captures time when children roamed, worked, and lived differently. This time, the story revolves around the Gareth children who are shipped off to rural Ireland to stay with their very eccentric aunt while their mother travels internationally to nurse their father. He’s been sent to study germs and struck with illness; their mother quickly packs up their home, their clothes, and sends them on a plane. This journey is difficult for the children who are close to their parents; however, it turns even more challenging when they arrive as they are left on their own to cook, clean, and bath!

The siblings eventually, after fights and disagreements, learn how to function as a group and become more independent. I recommend this book for those who love sibling relationships and new challenges.

For all of the libraries or wanna be libaries at home:

How perfect is this print of Wilde’s quote from Artfully Walls?