Friday, February 22, 2008

We finally have heat again! We don't have a furnace, we have a heat pump, and it has gone out twice in the last month. Of course it does this on the coldest days. Yesterday was 3 degrees with the wind chill factor. The freezing rain made the driveway so slick Steve had to take a running start to get up it with his car. I was bundled up in a jacket and electric blanket. Our gas fireplace is pretty good at heating up the living room.

I am in the middle of getting annual review documents together for the university, but needed to take a break and write about a book. The Scarlet Stockings: The Enchanted Riddle by Charlotte Kandel is sitting next to me on my desk. What an absolutely gorgeous cover with a cameo style picture of a girl in a ballet pose. However, since the riddle has to do with magic red silk stockings, I wish the girl's stockings were red instead of pale pink on the cover, but I'll let it go. After all, the stockings do change color to match whatever Charlotte has on so no one knows she is wearing stockings that will help her become a prima ballerina. Too bad they also bring out the selfish and arrogant side of her personality as well, making her forget the love of her newly adoptive family and friends in a small neighborhood in London. Although set in the 1920s, this book is timeless for girls who love to dance and want to learn more about ballet - a magical art form in itself - while wrapped in a delightful mystery. Every little girl who loves to pretend she is a ballerina will want her mother to read this book to her. And, every older (upper elementary/MS) girl who is taking ballet lessons will relate to the hard work that thirteen-year-old Charlotte puts into her dancing - the bloody feet and all. They will applaud when she works hard and gets choice parts and gasp when the stockings cause her to turn nasty and mean to those who love and support her. Will she find out who left her the stockings and the ballet book with the riddle written inside? Will she ever be able to solve it? Could it be from her mother who left her at the orphanage?

That's all for today - have too much to get done to just "chat".