Seven. Llama Llama Red Pajama….

….feels alone without his mama.

llama

On Saturday, children’s author and illustrator Anna Dewdney passed away in her Vermont home after battling with brain cancer for more than a year.  She was only 50 years old.

Jacob and Libby are only 16-months old.  As such, we are still relatively new to the children’s literature section of bookstores and of the library.  But Baby Llama we know well; after I read the book in our local bookshop, it both made me smile and cry a little, the sign of a very good book, indeed.

Dewdney “. . . emphasized that ’empathy is as important as literacy’ when it comes to educating children. ‘When we read with a child, we are doing so much more than teaching him to read or instilling in her a love of language . . .We are doing something that I believe is just as powerful, and it is something that we are losing as a culture: by reading with a child, we are teaching that child to be human.  When we open a book, and share our voice and imagination with a child, that child learns to see the world through someone else’s eyes.'”

Thank you, Anna Dewdney, for creating a book that my children love so much that we have to hide it.  There is no higher praise I could give you than that.

One. Beginnings. 

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain,—
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,—
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe;
Studying inventions fine her wits to entertain,
Oft turning others’ leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburn’d brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting invention’s stay;
Invention, Nature’s child, fled step-dame Study’s blows;
And others’ feet still seem’d but strangers in my way.
Thus great with child to speak and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite,
“Fool,” said my Muse to me, “look in thy heart, and write.”
– Astrophil and Stella 1, Sir Philip Sidney