Friday, August 4, 2006

fairy tales

for Crazy Hip Blog Mamas Writing Collaboration

I'm in love with books. I read them, I make artist's versions, I devour them like food. I love them as objects and covet them- I confess I prefer bookstores to libraries because I hate giving them back. Of course I'm excited to introduce Molly to books. She enjoyed (I think that's what the kicking meant) A Midsummer Night's Dream while she was in the womb. I haven't yet taken the time to read to her now that she's actually born, but I'm secretly loving the idea that right now I can read anything to her and she'll be absorbing the rhytms of speech and the comfort of my voice, blissfully ignorant of the actual words. I'm dying to reread Neil Gaiman's Stardust, my favorite fairy tale by a contemporary author, and I think I'll read it aloud to Molly at bedtime. (Now at age 2 months, she can hear the smutty bits and be none the wiser.) I like to imagine that the essence of the book will instill a sense of magic in her.

I can't wait until she's able to understand stories. We'll do the Brothers Grimm, then Hans Christian Anderson, and maybe I'll allow some Disney-fied versions to sneak in... they did Peter Pan pretty decent. We'll invent our own fairy tales too, like my Aunt Vicky did when I was little. By the time she's old enough to hear them, I may have the whole Harry Potter series memorized. You can be relieved for the baby that I've decided not to make her endure the Lord of the Rings Trilogy until she can read them herself. And I promise not to give her quizzes on Middle Earth geography and Quenya grammar.

Unfortunately, I'm clueless about simpler books for toddlers. I know Goodnight Moon and Where the Wild Things Are, but I'd love recommendations for fun baby books.

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