sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

June 28, 2012

day tripper, i’ll follow the sun, and take me out to the ballgame
posted by soe 11:26 pm

I’m still picking salt and sand out of my hair, but Thursday is waning, so I’ll post first and then shower.

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Rudi and I took the day off to head to the beach. It was our first time visiting Bethany Beach on a weekday, and the vibe is much more laid back than on the weekend. We picnicked on fresh fish sandwiches, played in the surf, read as we dried off, and played tag with the tide. (It won the first round, but we were victorious in the next two.) The sky was blue, the humidity was low, and if it was in the 90s, the beach is the ideal place to weather that kind of … weather. After we changed out of our suits, we bought ice cream cones and ate them as we walked along the boardwalk before heading back south.

2. The drive home across Delaware and the Eastern Shore is to the west, which meant we were chasing a large glowing orb for the first half of the trip. Because the skies were clear, the color changes associated with the sunset were particularly lovely.

3. I spent Monday night at the ballpark, but at a different one than usual. I headed out to Bowie to catch the Baysox, the Orioles’ AA affiliate, play the Redding Phillies. It’s been a decade since I’ve seen a minor league game, and I had forgotten how enjoyable they are. It was dog night, so my aisle-mates included a white husky with different colored eyes; the passel of children sitting behind me reminded me of the Peanuts gang with their chatter; my seat was in the seventh row, behind home plate; and the Baysox won (three RBIs off two homers). The stadium employees were all pleasant, and the stadium itself features a carousel. Plus, I got to have a tasty stadium dinner of a veggie burger, tasty fries, and pink cotton candy.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world this week?

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into the stacks: my father’s dragon
posted by soe 2:07 am

My Father’s Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett

From the jacket Powells: “When Elmer Elevator hears about the plight of an overworked and underappreciated baby flying dragon, he stows away on a ship and travels to Wild Island to rescue the dragon.”

My take: Another of the kids’ books from our readalong, this is one I’d never heard of, but which, from page 1, I wanted to have read aloud to me. Since that wasn’t happening, I read it aloud to Jeremiah, who seemed awed and a little concerned that I was whispering to him for a prolonged period of time in the middle of the night. He did not find the story engrossing and, I am sad to say, hopped down before we’d reached the end.

I do not think a child would hop down.

The story focuses on the narrator’s father, Elmer Elevator, who rescues an alley cat, who, in turn, tells Elmer about a blue and yellow striped baby dragon. Held prisoner by the animals of Wild Island, he is forced to ferry them back and forth across a river. The cat assures Elmer that if he were to rescue the dragon, it would be sure to let him fly on its back.

With a backpack full of useful items, like magnifying glasses, rubber bands, and lollipops, Elmer stows away on a ship. When he finally reaches Wild Island, he finds that he will need all his cunning and common sense to outwit the animals who want to eat him and to reach the baby dragon.

Similar in feel to Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories and The Jungle Book, this would make a worthy addition to any library of books to read aloud to children. I’d probably say kindergarten through second grade, because I think any younger and the length and the threat of being devoured might be too much. Plus, in that age range, they’d be able to enjoy the beautifully illustrated map featured on the end papers of the book.

If you’d like to sample this 1949 Newbery Honor book, the complete text is available online through UPenn‘s digital library collection.

Pages: 87

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