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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ride a Purple Pelican

To make room for daughter number 2's grown-up collection of college texts, novels, and books of poetry, I recently emptied her bookcase of all the kids' books stacked there willy-nilly. In other words, I got all teary and sniffly, and not just from the dust of many years' standing. Here are the reasons why, in no particular order:

Goodnight Moon
Millions of Cats
Blueberries for Sal
Farewell to Shady Glade
Only One Woof
Just a Dream
Two Bad Ants
The Polar Express
The Widow's Broom
Make Way for Ducklings
Ride a Purple Pelican

These are the books the girls wanted over and over. We might have read them hundreds of times. There are thousands of parent hours in these pages: paper a little crinkly from just-bathed hair, memories of cute pajamas with feet, poems from Ride a Purple Pelican recited, even bellowed, in unison, children cuddled on our laps in a perfect pieta. I've brought the whole collection (54 in all) up to Maine and probably will read them this winter, in a blizzard of emotion. Or should we read them to ourselves, out loud, and remember?

Bullfrogs, bullfrogs on parade,
dressed in gold and green brocade,
scarlet buttons on their suits,
fringes on their bumbershoots.

See them tip their satin hats
as they bounce like acrobats,
hear them croak a serenade,
bullfrogs, bullfrogs on parade.

I'm not quite sure why I brought the books to Maine. Probably something to do with the hope of grandchildren. For now, they are in the shelf just above our even older collection of LPs, but something tells me the books have a chance of getting used again, perhaps even tonight (there are 3 volumes of Calvin and Hobbes awaiting).



Cheyanne (Shy Ann) said...

Your blog is a rarity I found via Contrary, where I read your GoldFinch story, became enthalled and wanted more. What a great little blog you have here. I may add it my blogroll. Come read my stuff. Although it is mostly current events and political mixed with music, my love of nature and the natural world are boundless.

Thank You for posting this. You may have cleared up something that I was wondering about since I found two goldfinch feathers on seperate walks at the same place. i had thought something might have gotten the goldfinch, but maybe it was molting.

Pelican Lights said...

This blog is amazing, and I am getting flashbacks of my childhood and my mom reading Goodnight Moon to me. My favorites, like every other kid, were Dr. Seuss, and there are so many other books from 20 years ago that I loved. It puts a pit in my stomach and I actually want to go home and dig up whatever childrens' books i can find from my child hood. All I can really remember is Go Dog Go being my favorite book as a child.