One tiny moment of authenticity today. I enjoy reading children’s books. To myself. For my own pleasure, not to preview them for my kids.
Although I have used that excuse in the past. I also have tucked Harry Potter book jackets into my bag so I could read incognito at Starbucks. I recognize the absurdity of this.
Children’s books, good ones, can be delightful, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t enjoy them just because I am not a child anymore. A good story is a good story, regardless of genre or intended audience.
Amid beachgoers glued to reading group favorites and paperback bestsellers, I read The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente. I love this book. It is incredibly charming, witty and poignant. Yet at times I felt unpleasantly conspicuous reading it, as though reading a children’s book casts doubt upon my emotional maturity or basic reading skills. But I read it anyway, alert for snide looks that never actually came my way.
Here is a quote from this lovely book:
“When you are born,” the golem said softly, “your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off of staircases, saying your first words without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk and crusty things and dirt and fear and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you’re half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it’s so grunged up with living. So every once in a while, you have to scrub it up and get the works going or else you’ll never be brave again…all it would take is a bit of spit and polish to make [people] paladins once more, bold knights and true.”
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Catherynne M. Valente, A Fiewel and Friends Book
Don’t you love that?
In other news, I saw an actual crab in the ocean today. I did not tell Sarah.