Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Gumm Street Girls and Basil`s Adventures

We've been having a lot of fun reading at our house lately! It's an interesting change for me. I've kind of let go of my lists and things I think I need to do (namely housework and other boring responsibilities in my life!). Somehow I'll figure out a balance in all of this. For now we're a little unbalanced with the heavy side being on reading....but que sera sera!! We're enjoying it!

Jill and I read reading The Secret Order of the Gumm Street Girls. It's a really crazy book - kind of a take off from the Wizard of Oz. I've found it to be quite clever! However, I seemed to impatiently wait and wonder when we were going to get into the point of the story - and it took more than 150 pages...but we're finally there. The good news though is that Jill didn't seem to mind the waiting. To her the book has been great from the beginning - so that's good. Today we had an interesting discussion from the book.

Two weeks passed, and soon all of Sherbet was buzzing about the glamorous new owner of #7 Gumm Street.
Have you ever noticed how we are most attracted to the worst things? We want cookies that make us fat and candy that rots our teeth; we want to stay up all night when we should rest, and we want to go out in the rain when we have a cold. Too all the folks in Sherbet (except for the Gumm Street Girls, of course) Cha cha represented drama, glamour, excitement - all the things that usually spell trouble - and for this reason she was a spectacular hit. (Chapter 18 Page 210)

In this book there are a lot of interesting topics that get touched on: friendship, body image, uniqueness, talents, etc. Like a lot of kid's books, the kids seem to have it together and the adults are the ones that are kind of messed up. Jill and I had an interesting discussion today about our own personal attractions to things that aren't good for us. It was interesting to hear the list of "demons" she fights and to share with her my list. These moments are the reasons why we spend hours reading together!! I loved having that discussion with her.

Peirce and I are reading The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil. Actually I can't say just Peirce and I are reading it. Jill spidey senses start tingling when Peirce and I go off and read and she often comes and listens in as well. This book has terrific illustrations (well, so does the Gumm Street Girls book actually)....we must be on a great illustrations vibe right now.

In the story Basil thinks his life is too boring - and although he was warned to be careful what he wishes for - he wishes for a great adventure...and of course it happens right away. Basil lives in a lighthouse and a flying boat suddenly appears outside his window. He of course decides to jump in (although he`s notably nervous about doing so) and they sail off.

The man let our a bellowing laugh so loud it shook the house. Àh,`he said with a twinkle in his eyes, À lady seeking and adventure, eh? Jolly good! Hop aboard, young man, and begin your adventure!``
Stepping up to the ledge of his window, Basil prepared to leap. Suddenly, the airship that looked so close before now seemed far away. This is the first step, he told himself. It`s nor or never...
With that, Basil made the highest leap of his life.
He quickly realized that he didn`t have anything to fear, for his right leg easily cleared the ship`s railing. But it wasn`t the leap he needed to worry about. It was the landing. As his left foot trailed behind, it clipped the edge of the rail. Basil was thrown off balance, and he plunged awkwardly into a neatly coiled pile of rope.
Despite Basil`s crash landing, the kind old man didn`t laugh. Instead he helped Basil to his feet, knowing the boy was embarrassed.
`Welcome aboard, Laddy,`` he said. ``We pilots know how difficult it is to make any leap at all.``
As the great airship slowly rose above the lighthouse, Basil peered over the edge of the stern. His home looked quite different from this angle, making him pause. As they sailed off, Basil felt an unexpected pang. He had never been away from his family before and he hadn`t even said good-bye. He wasn`t sure if he was scared or excited...or both. Soon the thrill of the unknown overshadowed his fear. `My wish came true, `` he said out loud. ``I`m going on an adventure!``

Peirce gave out a big sigh. He told me he would be scared if that was him. I asked him why he`d be scared and he said, ``well, I wouldn`t have been scared before but when I left and then the policeman brought me home I found out it is scary to go away from home.``

What a guy. I just wanted to hug him and give him a big kiss and tell him he`d NEVER have to leave home. :0)

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