Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Okay - so I should have kept my big mouth shut about the gorgeous Holiday Season weather we were having! Woke up to cloudy skies and now it is raining. Poor tourists! Happy cisterns!

I've always known I have weird dreams, but to wake up with tongue twisters going through my head! How weird is that? Let's hope the rest of this day is not as strange. Here's what was going through my head: Absentminded Amos ate an astounding amount of apples before admitting to an awful abdominal ache. Hmmm - wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that we went to dinner at Bonnie's by the Sea and I had chicken marinara and the garlic in the sauce was playing havoc with me later last night. Even eating Paul Newman's chocolate chip cookies while watching the b/w version of Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire (not the colorized version - not the real thing) didn't distract me from the "abdominal ache"! So I added to the weirdness by having applesauce with my bagel this a.m.!

The atmosphere at Bonnie's was so relaxing. It wasn't very busy so we sat right next to the beach and watched the kids playing in the hammocks set up in the palm trees. Some of the condos had Christmas lights up and so did the nearby Arthur's restaurant. We watched a family come in from their sailboat by dinghy to have dinner. Oh the island life!

While going through my Christmas books I came across my first edition of Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies, published in 1947 by Harcourt Brace. The dust jacket is in bad shape but I couldn't resist it for my Christmas book collection when I saw it in a used bookstore. Trying not to damage it any further, I curled up with it and enjoyed the print version of the story we all know and love as little Susan (Natalie Woods in the original b/w version of the movie) learns the truth about Kris Kringle and how important it is to believe in miracles. The novel was written based on the movie screenplay so there aren't any surprises, but I wasn't expecting any - just a visit with an old friend in a different format. The kids and I used to watch the original version every year and often the newer one with Sebastian Cabot as Kris Kringle. The kids liked it, but I love the old black and white "first editions". Harcourt published a facsimile edition of the 1947 edition in 2001 so it is available to share with your children. There is also an edition with illustrations by Tomie De Paola, but it just isn't the same.

Wish Allyson and MJ were sitting here with me while I just read Karma Wilson's Bear Stays Up - a delightful Christmas eve story about Bear and his friends decorating his cave for Christmas while he fights sleep, but when his friends fall asleep bear cooks and wraps presents while Santa sneaks in and fills the stockings. Bear wakes his friends on Christmas morning to open presents and feast and then they give him a bear sized quilt to bundle up in as he finishes his winter's nap. I fell in love with Bear and his friends in Bear Snores On, which was a bestseller and an ALA Notable book. Wilson also wrote Bear Wants More. These are wonder storytime books as they have such rhythm and rhyme and the illustrations are large enough for the kids to see.

On to working on syllabi for the Spring semester!