It’s Wednesday, and I have a book post. I don’t think Jessica is hosting today, but I’ll link up with her just in case. 🙂 Hopefully she is enjoying a beautiful afternoon with her little ones.
Anyway, do you remember how Peter Pan first came to know Wendy, John, and Michael? He was drawn to their window by their mother’s bedtime stories. I don’t tell very good bedtime stories, but I can read them. Here are some of our favorites these days.
Prayer for a Child
This book is a Caldecott Medalist, so the illustrations are lovely. Teddy almost has this book memorized, which means I can use it for reading practice for the beginning readers. If they can’t sound out a particular word, Teddy will fill it in for them.
My Little Golden Book About God
The prose in this book is just as sweet and comforting as in Prayer for a Child, but the illustrations are not as nice. Some of them are downright strange.We still like it though.
The Arnold Lobel Book of Mother Goose
This is my favorite of all our Mother Goose books, and I think we have at least five. It’s got every nursery rhyme you could ever remember, and then a hundred more. The illustrations are colorful and funny.
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
The Mysterious Benedict Society: Mr. Benedict’s Book of Perplexing Puzzles, Elusive Enigmas, and Curious Conundrums
William has been enjoying reading these books before bed. I’m fine with this as long as I never have to listen to them read aloud. Seriously, take a look at that second title. Now imagine every sentence of the entire book containing just as many redundant, multi-syllabic words, and being read very sloooowly, and you’ll know why I will lose my mind if I ever have to hear about Mr. Benedict again.
Everyone enjoyed Peter Pan. They loved the adventure story and didn’t seem to notice the sad parts. But I did. Wendy’s meeting with Peter once she has grown up is called “the tragedy.” Wendy can no longer accompany Peter now that she has a husband and daughter to tend. Then we find out that Peter’s eternal youth requires he have absolutely no memory, because to have a past is to be grown up. When the adult Wendy realizes Peter doesn’t remember any of their adventures, or even who Tinkerbell was, it isn’t clear who is the more tragic figure.
At least I thought I was the only one affected by the melancholy. Then one of our children started crying at bedtime about being afraid to grow up (“It’s the only thing I’m afraid of in the whole world!”), so it must have hit a nerve.
I read a little about the childhood of J. M. Barrie, which had some real tragedy in it. Also Barrie was very short, always immature, and attached himself to various different motherly figures throughout his life.
He fathered no children himself, but he half-adopted the sons of one of those motherly women he was attached to, and he told them great stories. And that’s how Peter Pan began.