Busy Spiders and Dancing Dragons

Hi hi!

My blogs will probably be wobbly and short (like the baby! ha ha! sorry, that was terrible) until this manuscript is done, so I’m just popping on today to mention two of the new favorite books in this house.  We have definitely entered the stage of rereading certain books over and over (AND OVER) again.  Who taught this kid the sign for “more”?  Who thought that was a good idea?  My goodness.  😉

VeryBusySpider cover
The Very Busy Spider, by Eric Carle

For some reason, The Very Hungry Caterpillar hasn’t made much of an impression on Jonah yet (ironically, considering he IS the very hungriest of caterpillars himself) – perhaps he’s like, meh, I could eat all that in ONE day; what took this caterpillar a whole week? 

But he could happily hear The Very Busy Spider twelve hundred times in a row.  It’s just brilliant: a new animal sound on each page (including his favorite, a duck quacking), which has inspired his 7th and 8th words: cow and moo.  And then there’s the extremely cool spider web getting more and more intricate each time you turn the page.  He hasn’t even figured out yet that the web and the spider and the fly are all embossed, so you can feel them under your fingertips—it’s like a Zen experience for me, tracing the outline of the web and echoing the recurring rhythm of the book over and over again.  Weirdly calming and also hilarious because he loves it so much. 

Plus I usually start by singing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” for him, and any kind of singing sends him into RAPTUROUS JOY.  Nobody else in the entire world appreciates my singing like this!  Even if he weren’t so darn cute, that alone would earn him his room and board here.

DragonDancing cover
Dragon Dancing, by Carole Lexa Schaefer, illustrated by Pierr Morgan 

OH, how the baby loves this book.   OH MY GOODNESS, he is desperately, ridiculously, absurdly in love with it.  He’ll spot it across the room, buried (DELIBERATELY) under several other books, and he’ll immediately crawl over, dig it out, look at me, and frantically do the “more” sign.  Why, baby?  Why this book, randomly picked off the shelf at the library?

I think it’s because of all the crazy noises we make while we’re reading it – the dragon goes STOMP TROMP KERBOMP out the whish-whoosh doors to mish-moosh through the marshes and creep-crouch through the forests and LA-DEE-DAWDLE under the cherry blossom trees, and apparently this is the most wonderful hilarity the baby has ever heard.  Even after he’s gone to bed, Adam and I find ourselves going “GRRRRRUMBLE-YUMBLE-YUMMM!” because we CAN’T STOP OURSELVES.

It’s also got wonderfully active illustrations, several spreads of multiple kids to look at (Jonah loves that), and, honestly, a terrific story of using your imagination to play pretend together.  He might not understand that part yet, but a message like that makes it a book I wouldn’t mind owning for his later years. 

And I’m afraid we have to!  It’s due back to the library next week!  How will he ever bear to part with it?  I could take advantage of his fleeting one-year-old memory and just let it disappear, but that seems cruel, when he loves it so very very much. 

Ruh-roh, and it looks like there’s another one, too…watch out, Jonah, this may be too much excitement for our household to handle!  🙂

On the grown-up side of things (well, more or less), I just read First Light and reread When You Reach Me, both by Rebecca Stead, and both completely wonderful.  How did the human race evolve to the point where amazing writers like this exist?  Happy sigh.

All right, back to work for me!  🙂

Quote of the Day:
John Hodgman: 
"We have to start with cuts to the Pentagon…I mean, d
o we really need a building with five sides?"
Jon Stewart: 
"So we should change the Pentagon to a rectangle?"
John Hodgman:  "A rectangle? What are we, Portugal? I’m talking about a rhombus: the most menacing of the quadrilaterals. Our enemies must know we are serious!"
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