Serendipity

I am always fascinated at how serendipitous life can be. I love that word – serendipity/serendipitous. I love the concept. According to wikipedia, the word serendipity means “a happy accident” or “a pleasant surprise”. The word was first used, it seems, by Horace Walpole when talking about a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, whose heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of”. Life is full of magical moments.

At our last visit to the great Half-Price Books in Dallas, we came across a book by Alexandra Day, one of my favorite author/illustrators. Ms Day is the creator of the Good Dog, Carl books, of which we have several. I LOVE Carl! He is one of my heros. The book that we found at the bookstore is not a Carl book. It’s not even about a rottweiler. It IS about a dog. A very funny dog. I think it is a Bernese Mountain Dog.

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The book is called The Fairy Dogfather. It was published in 2012 by Green Tiger Press. It begins with a young boy, Hector, who is learning to write and gets his “d” and “g” confused. Then he decides to see if he has a fairy godfather who can help him out with a dilemma. He writes a letter and attaches it to his window before going to bed. But since he gets his “d” and “g” mixed up, the letter is answered by a fairy DOGfather. A very silly dogfather who smokes a cigar and messes up Dad’s newspaper and eats a lot of food from the kitchen. And doesn’t seem to be of any help at all. The dogfather leaves on the vacuum cleaner and Hector goes back to bed very disappointed. But when he awakes in the morning he finds that the dogfather DID create some magic! A wonderful tale!

Now the fact that we found this lovely story of Ms Day’s was serendipitous because, even though we always look, we rarely find anything by Ms Day besides Carl books. Then today at the library a young lady sat down to read to us a book that she had pulled off of the library shelf — a book by Alexandra Day!! And not a Carl book! Serendipity!

IMG_2590This book is called Special Deliveries and was co-written with Cooper Edens. It was published in 2001 by Harper Collins. Another fantastical tale! A story about the mail! A family – Mom, two daughters and a whole passel of animals live in the country and become the mail service for their valley. They all help deliver the mail to the neighbors. Even all the animals!! Dogs and cats and goats and donkeys and birds and pigs. When the girls realize that some of the neighbors don’t ever get any mail, they decide to make letters to send to them. So they all create lovely letters — even all the animals!! This is a great book! I love Ms Day’s illustrations and the story is a very lovely one of giving and sharing.

And that was serendipitous to have another book by Ms Day! But then this afternoon when our mail lady came, she had mail for me!! Just like the book!

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It seems that I won a contest over at the new blog for showcasing novels for Tweens, Emblazon, and I got two books in the mail!! The Dreamkeeper by Mikey Brooks and Curse at Zala Manor by BBH McChiller. Now you put all these things together and you have serendipity for sure!! These books are a little bigger than my usual reading fare and it will take me awhile to get through them, but I’ll try to do a report on them before toooo long.

And I’ll leave you with some magic from the Lovin’ Spoonful —

I hope you discover some serendipity somewhere today —
Rhythm

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Carl’s Christmas

It’s Friday. That means the Mom Person is gone. The Big Guy With the Treats is gone. All gone. Gone to California.

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Romeo’s Dad Person will be here with us. And he’s a pretty good guy. He’ll do for awhile I guess. Aahhummm.

Well — it’s also Perfect Picture Book Friday over at Susanna Hill’s!

I’ve picked out a quiet Christmas book. Quiet as in no words. It’s a no words kind of Friday. I like picture books with no words. That way when we read them with kids, I get a new story every time!! The book I’ve decided to share is Carl’s Christmas by Alexandra Day.

IMG_5828It was published in 1990 by Farrar Straus Giroux. It’s a fiction book suitable for all ages. I’ve read this book with 2 yr olds and adults. And everybody has there own personal take on the story.

Carl is a rottweiler with some big responsibilities that he takes very seriously. His Big People are always leaving him in charge of the baby! And they sure have fun together while those adults are away! In this Christmas book, Carl and the baby do some Christmas wrapping and decorating then go out to see the town. They enjoy the Christmas windows, win a Christmas basket from a store, give to the needy, go carolling, then realize that they might be missing Santa!! They rush back home and sit and wait for the Jolly Guy. I won’t tell you the end tho!! Whew!!

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Carl is my hero. He’s always taking care of that baby and having great adventures while he’s doing it! Ms Day’s artwork is fabulous. Carl’s world just pops out at you. Reading these mostly wordless books gets your imagination fired up. Kids have to study the pictures to see what all is going on. They have to stretch their vocabularies. No words on the printed page is sometimes a very good thing.

Melissa Taylor at Imagination Soup has a great post about wordless books with lots of things that you can do with them. You should check it out.

And Carl has a website that you might find fun.

Check out more PPBF at Susanna Hill’s blog.

And I’ll end with a little James Taylor for my Mom Person so far away — I’ll be watching for her Everyday!