Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just Me

Just Me
Marie Hall Ets
The Viking Press, 1965

In 1960, Ms. Ets (great last name huh?) won the Caldecott Medal for her illustrations in the book Nine Days to Christmas. I particularly like this one though because it reminds me of my son. It's a story of a little boy who saves a bird from the claws of his pet cat, and then spends the rest morning acting just like various barnyard/wild animals.

A rabbit was nibbling some leaves off a bush.
"Rabbit," I said.
(He didn't have any name because nobody owned him.)
"Rabbit, I can't fly like a bird, but I can hop like a rabbit.
Let me see how you do it."
So rabbit went hoppety, hop, hop.
And I hopped just like him.

This book is wonderful, showing genuine interaction between child and nature, something lacking tremendously in the modern world of the suburban adolescent. A cool footnote on Ms. Ets life is that she also wrote a biography of a woman she befriended during her days as a social worker. Rosa:The Life of an Italian Immigrant is an incredible story that really captures the post WWI era and the plight of the American immigrant. I just love people who bounce around from one creative expression to the next, and better yet, have the passion to do both.

Also by:
Gilberto and the Wind


Nicole said...

If you can find it, Gilberto and the Wind is also really worthwhile -- it's a similar feel to this one, though in the case of Gilberto, the wind is a pesky playmate. (I also get the impression that Gilberto was a real boy, but I haven't read enough about her to know that for sure...)

Burgin Streetman said...

I just read Gilberto for the first time. LOVE IT! Thanks for the mention!

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