The boy and I left my husband at home and fled to Virginia to visit my mother. My Internet access has been almost nonexistent, and I soooo wanted to try and get some of the guest posts I have accumulated up. Like this one from reader, Julie. She's forty and fabulous and lives in Paris where she's a photographer and a mum. You can read Julie's blog here. Welcome her and have a great one all! I'll be back with a vengeance on Monday...
Alexander and the Magic Mouse
Martha Sanders ~ Philippe Fix
American Heritage Press, 1969, by
I come from a family of true bookworms. My mum was kind of into that business, and my parents bought many many books for me, my brother and my sister. They taught us to take extremely great care of them, and in turn, we read a lot when we were kids. Every year around November, we would receive from a colleague of my mum what you called then in France a "Bon Libraire". It's a paper with a stamp of a bookshop, proving you sell books, so you can go to the SFL (La Société Française du Livre) to buy books at a discounted price. It's a kind of wholesaler where you can buy any amount of any book. All the French booksellers shop there or order their books from there.
For us, it was paradise. Imagine a huge old warehouse in the center of Paris loaded with many stairs and basement floors, with piles and piles of books and shelves everywhere, organized by editors and themes. You could very easily get lost there. As soon as my mum would find the Bon Libraire in the mailbox, we would get excited. We'd spend half a day there, the five of us, cause my dad is a great reader too. We weren't really owners of a bookshop or anything, so it was a nice thing for this friend of my mum to do for us. We new the invitations would stop at anytime, so we really cherished it.
The best thing is that we could spend so much time just reading there. They had more books than the library or any big shop you can think of. And the best of it is that my folks each time said, no limit. You can buy AS MANY books as you want. We had carts filled with books, like at the supermarket, and that lasted for years. We were so lucky!
So, now that I am a mum myself, I spend a lot on books. I go to normal bookshops, but also garage sales, flea markets, and often I track down books on Amazon that I cherished as a child, for my own kids. Like this one, Alexander and the Magic Mouse.
The book tells the extraordinary story of an old friendly woman living in a house on a hill with her animal friends; a cat, a magical mouse, an alligator from China, and a yak. At the foot of the hill, there is a river and a town. One afternoon the tiny mouse has a vision and sees that it is going to rain for thirty days and thirty nights.
The books tells the long, delightful and very poetic story of this storm. Philippe Fix's drawing are extremely dreamy, beautiful, and all the characters of the album are very attaching. We read the books a million times when we were kids, and my three children enjoy it very much, too. It was a very special moment when I found it online, and I was very moved when it arrived home and when I translated it to the kids. My parents still have our original French copy at the seaside, and, of course, it's still intact!
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