Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ms Glee Was Waiting

Ms Glee Was Waiting
Donna Hill - Diane Dawson
Atheneum, 1978

There is so much talent in the world. All of it floating around and fabulous. So much so that sometimes I feel overwhelmed trying to put a finger on what all of it means. Vintage books to me feel like little time capsules tucked away on junk store shelves waiting to be opened and enjoyed. Sad, in a way, as out-of-print books also remind me of ghosts... and that by bringing them home and sharing them with my son I am breathing them back to life. Finding that talent and nurturing it and keeping it safe so that nothing ever hurts it... (Jeez, if I was that Greyson kid's mother I would weep nonstop worrying about how to safeguard his creative spirit.) Not sure why I'm feeling all nostalgic and protective of my son's books at the moment. Perhaps it is because he is five now, and slowing drifting away from the comfort and magic of his burgeoning picturebook shelves. Like all things, they too will be left behind. Probably boxed and put in the attic until and in case he has children of his own someday. Looking at this book this morning, tucked beneath my son's blanky in a makeshift fort on the floor of his room, made me wonder about all the illustrators and writers in the world and all the talent realized and forgotten.

Oh, well. Silly me.

Of course, when I Googled this artist's name this morning, a Muppet connection came up, and I was happy to see that she was still alive and well and creating (and tweeting). So, without further waxing of the poetics...

Laura was late and Ms Glee was waiting, so Laura put on her roller skates but a skate strap broke, so she brought out her wagon but a wheel came loose, so she borrowed a bike but a tire went flat. Laura whistled for a cab but the cab ran out of gas, so she got on a bus...

It goes on like this through various forms of transportation... tugboat, hot air balloon, gondola... until at last we find out it was an elaborate excuse to explain why the dear girl never did get to her piano lesson. Funny, funny. The illustrations remind me a bit of Lore Segal or Uri Shulevitz and there's some of Eloise in Laura's saggy-baggy jumper.

Although Ms Glee is pretty much the opposite of what her name might imply, the drawings make me envious that my son isn't growing up in the big city, roller skating off his front stoop to see the world in full color. We can't all live on Sesame Street I'm afraid, even if the idea of 123 does feel like home.

1 comment:

camerabanger said...

Ms Glee was my boys favorite book. We read it to all three of them over and over again. I still take it down from the dusty shelf occasionally and page through it myself.

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