when the thin man and i first met each other in a swing dance class, we didn't like each other at all. actually, i didn't like him, his conservative politics, his fraternity ties, his sporty red convertible or his smug little "i-know-better-than-thou" smile. apparently, he didn't really think anything of me, my artsy-fartsyness, my red STP jacket, or my pee-wee herman bike.
for some reason, we always ended up at class about 15 minutes early. often, we'd end up practicing our 8 count swingouts with each other. after one too many criticisms on my dancing, i decided to start bringing a book to class so that he would do the polite thing and not disturb my reading or ask me to dance.
i brought the most liberal, feminist, modern, sentimental, paradigm shifting, thought provoking book i had in my library - "the cider house rules" by john irving. i locked up my bike with a smile. i was so sure that he'd leave me alone - FOREVER! and then, soon after i cracked open the book and hid behind it, the thin man walked over and said something like, "hey! i read that book! i liked it a lot! 'good night, you princes of maine, you kings of new england!" and the rest, as they say, is history...
it turned out that among the many things we found we had in common, the thin man and i share a love of books and reading. it's also foremost of the many hobbies that we want to introduce and encourage in our children. so, i'm happy to report, with great pride, that the paloma finished "reading" her 25 books (and drawing her book reports) for the chicago city of big readers program.
in addition to another 5 book prize, she received a nifty t-shirt commemorating her accomplishment, her name was entered into the weekly prize raffle and the BIG, GRAND, U PICK WHICH PRIZE raffle (amongst the choices of a bike, a scooter, a gameboy, an ipod, and a toys r us gift certificate, etc.. the kid chooses to enter the gameboy raffle. oh well.) anyhoo, just in case you were interested, the list of her 25 books (in the order she read them) follows:
1) "chicken and cat" by sara varon
2) "clara caterpillar" by pamela duncan edwards
3) "honk! the story of a prima swanerina" by pamela duncan edwards
4) "emmeline at the circus" by marjorie priceman
5) "apple pie 4th of july" by janet s. wong
6) "abuela" by arthur dorros
7) "tar beach" by faith ringgold
8) "josefina" by jeanette winter
9) "ballerina" by peter sis
10) "ginger" by charlotte voake
11) "ruby and bubbles" by rosie winstead
12) "imagine a day" by sarah thomson
13) "how high can a dinosaur count?" by valorie fisher
14) "imogene's antlers" by david small
15) "buzz" by janet wong
16) "princess chamomile gets her way" by hiawyn oram
17) "alice the fairy" by david shannon
18) "the heart's language" by lois ann yamanaka
19) "this next new year" by janet s wong
20) "who wants a dragon?" by james mayhew
21) "hula lullaby" by erin eittner kono
22) "daisy comes home" - jan brett
23) "big jimmy's kum kau chinese takeout" - ted lewin
24) "dancing in the kitchen" - wendy gelsanliter & frank christian
25) "fortune cookie fortunes" - grace lin (btw - for those of you who like me are fans of grace lin's books. i just found out, in the course of perusing her site and her blog, that her husband, robert, is not doing very well.
she writes in her last post dated 6/26/07, "I'm sorry to say that Robert is not having the results from his treatments that we hoped for and the written word no longer brings me solace. As Robert's body betrays him, so does the consolation of my blog. So for now, during these hard times, I say goodbye--hoping to find hope in silence."
my heart just about snapped in two when i read her words. please keep grace, robert and their family in your thoughts and prayers. he beat the cancer into remission twice before. i hope and pray he does it again.)