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nobody else's daddy comes to the park

idyllic passages of classic children's literature

December 23rd, 2011

my zipper suit is bunny-brown --
the top zips up, the legs zip down.
i wear it every day.
my daddy brought it out from town.
zip it up, and zip it down,
and hurry out to play!

("my zipper suit," from a pocketful of rhymes, by mary louise allen, published 1939)

August 30th, 2011

Writer's Block: Sweet tooth

elle fanning
What is your favorite candy or dessert?
there are pies that start the water circulating in the mouth;
there are pies that bear the flavor of the warm and sunny south;
some with oriental spices spur the drowsy appetite
and just fill a fellow's being with a thrill of real delight;
but for downright solid goodness that comes dripping from the sky
there is nothing quite the equal of a chunk of raisin pie.

("raisin pie," from a heap o' livin', by edgar albert guest, published 1916)

August 26th, 2011

Do you think women are treated as equals? What changes would you like to see?
"i do love to read," said felicity. "i'd like to attend the college here in williamsburg, and read greek and latin and philosophy and geography, just as the young gentleman do."

"oh, lissie," laughed nan. "that's silly! girls aren't taught at the college."

ben looked up from the chessboard and grinned. "maybe you could pretend to be a boy," he said. "i have a pair of breeches you may borrow."

felicity grinned back, but then she sighed. "i don't see why girls aren't educated, too."

(from felicity learns a lesson: a school story, by valerie tripp, published 1991)

June 18th, 2011

Which song associated with musician Paul McCartney is your favorite, and why?

one two three four
can i have a little more?
five six seven eight nine ten
i you

a b c d
can i bring my friend to tea?
pink brown yellow orange and blue 

sail the ship (boom bam boom)
climb the tree (boom bam boom)
skip the rope (boom bam boom)
look at me

(from "all together now," music & lyrics by james paul mccartney, recorded 1967)

May 16th, 2011

If you woke up surrounded by doctors who told you that you'd been in a medical experiment since birth and that your entire life had been a dream, how do you think you'd react?

'twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
    as if it could not be,
and some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
    of sailing that beautiful sea --
    but i shall name you the fishermen three:
        and nod.

("wynken, blynken, and nod," by eugene field, published 1889)

December 1st, 2010

i like days
with a snow-white collar,
and nights when the moon
is a silver dollar,
and hills are filled
with eiderdown stuffing
and your breath makes smoke
like an engine puffing.

i like days
when feathers are snowing,
and all the eaves
have petticoats showing,
and the air is cold,
and the wires are humming,
but you feel all warm...
with christmas coming!

("december," from i like weather, by aileen fisher, published 1963)

November 14th, 2010

Which animal would you choose to be for a day, and why?

if i were a bear,
and a big bear too,
i shouldn't much care
if it froze or snew;
i shouldn't much mind
if it snowed or friz—
i'd be all fur-lined
with a coat like his!

for i'd have fur boots and a brown fur wrap,
and brown fur knickers and a big fur cap.
i'd have a fur muffle-ruff to cover my jaws,
and brown fur mittens on my big brown paws.
with a big brown furry-down up to my head,
i'd sleep all the winter in a big fur bed.

("furry bear," from now we are six, by alan alexander milne, published 1927)

November 6th, 2010

the heaviness of the dark

fairuza balk
What do you like to do when you can't get to sleep?

it was much earlier than her bedtime at home, but still claudia felt tired. she thought she might have an iron deficieny anemia: tired blood. perhaps, the pressures of everyday stress and strain had gotten her down. maybe she was light-headed from hunger; her brain cells were being robbed of vitally needed oxygen for good growth, and ... yawn.

she shouldn't have worried. it had been an unusually busy day. a busy and unusual day. so she lay there in the great quiet of the museum next to the warm quiet of her brother and allowed the soft stillness to settle around them: a comforter of quiet. the silence seeped from their heads to their soles and into their souls. they stretched out and relaxed. instead of oxygen and stress, claudia thought now of hushed and quiet words: glide, fur, banana, peace. even the footsteps of the night watchman added only an accented quarter-note to the silence that had become a hum, a lullaby.

they lay perfectly still even long after he passed. then they whispered good night to each other and fell asleep. they were quiet sleepers and hidden by the heaviness of the dark, there were not easily discovered.

(from from the mixed-up files of mrs. basil e. frankweiler, by elaine lobl konigsburg, published 1967)

November 1st, 2010

the last red berries

mary badham

november comes,
and november goes
with the last red berries
and the first white snows,

with night coming early
and dawn coming late,
and ice in the bucket
and frost by the gate.

the fires burn
and the kettles sing,
and the earth sinks to rest
until next spring.

("november," from twelve months make a year, by elizabeth coatsworth, published 1942)

October 10th, 2010

you're my cuppycake, gumdrop

elle fanning

you're my honeybun, sugarplum, pumpy-umpy-umpkin
you're my sweetie pie
you're my cuppycake, gumdrop, snoogums-boogums
you're the apple of my eye

and i love you so, and i want you to know
that i'll always be right here
and i love to sing this song to you
because you are so dear

("the cuppycake song," music & lyrics by judianna castle. photo by three peanuts.)

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