Thursday, May 29, 2014


Okay, I'll admit it.  I have so many blogs, and so many other things going on that I just plain FORGOT about this blog.
Now that I've re-discovered it, however, it's going to be ACTIVE
once again.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Purple Jar

This short story  by Maria Edgeworth was first published in 1796, and 
was quite popular for many years.
Rose, in  Louisa May Alcott's Eight Cousins,  says in reference to this story:
"I always thought it very unfair in her mother not to warn the poor thing a little bit; and she was regularly mean when Rosamond asked for a bowl to put the purple stuff in, and she said, in such a provoking way, 'I did not agree to lend you a bowl, but I will, my dear.' Ugh! I always want to shake that hateful woman, though she was a moral mamma."
I agree with Rose!  How could Rosamond make a really prudent decision without
knowing what really made the jar "purple?"
Of course, if Rosamond had known, then we may not have had the element
of surprise in the story!
As for the mother, was she really, as Rose called her, "a moral mamma?"  Is it moral to allow a seven-year-old to decide whether to get a pair of shoes, which she badly needs, or a
pretty purple jar, which she does not need?
If this happened in real life, especially nowadays, can you imagine what
people would say about Rosamond's mother?
However, in spite of these objections, I must say that I enjoy this story, as well
as others about Rosamond.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Little Women: An Annoying Chapter

Louisa May Alcott's Little Women has always been one of my favorite books.  There are, however, two chapters that annoy me. I'll cover the first one in this post.

Remember the chapter called "Jo Meets Apollyon," where
Amy burned the book Jo had worked on for several years
because Jo wouldn't let her come to the theater with her and Meg and Laurie?

Jo was, of course, furious with Amy... just as I would have been, just as almost anybody would have been.

But how did Mrs. March, Marmee, handle the situation?
"Mrs. March came home, and, having heard the story, soon brought Amy to a sense of the wrong she had done her sister."
That's it.  We never find out just how she "brought Amy to a
sense of the wrong she had done her sister."  We never learn
what Marmee said to Amy.

Mrs. March, in fact, seemed much more concerned about Jo's very understandable anger than about Amy's deliberate, vindictive destruction of Jo's property.

Once again, I quote this sentence:

"Mrs. March came home, and, having heard the story, soon brought Amy to a sense of the wrong she had done her sister."

I wonder how many readers found themselves wishing that Mrs. March had brought Amy to a sense of not wanting to sit down for several days!

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Very Own Library Card

Almost every day after school, my Baba and I would go to the rather small, but to my childish eyes quite big enough, Brighton Beach Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, then located on Ocean Parkway. We'd browse among the picture books, and then I would choose a few books (as hard a decision, for me, as deciding what to get at the corner candy store!) Baba would check the books out on her library card; I was too young to have my own.
We'd go over to one of the benches on Ocean Parkway, and read at least one of the
books together. Usually, we saved the rest of them to read at home. Not that I minded reading
the books again and again. Most, if not all, bookworms are great re-readers.
And then, finally, when I was in the second grade, I was old enough for my very
own library card.(thrill thrill thrill!) I felt so grown-up that day. My very own library card!
The first book I took out on my VERY OWN library card was "Betsy and Billy" by Carolyn Haywood. I chose for two reasons: I had already read and loved her first book, "B is For Betsy", and I wanted to be seen leaving the library with a thick, grown-up looking book!

A Quote About Sunday Books

This is a quote from part of a sentence in Louisa May Alcott's Rose in Bloom. 

"yawning over the dull books kept for Sunday reading."

Well, anyone who has been following this blog knows
how I feel about dull books on Sunday

Of course, I dislike dull books on ANY day!

Outgrowing Books???

I've always had a great fondness... make that, absolutely loved.... children's books.  Years ago, when I was in high school, a nosy neighbor asked me, "When are you going to outgrow those books?"
I replied, "We outgrow our clothes and our shoes.   We... hopefully... outgrow bad habits.  We do not outgrow good books."