As part of the SpReAd the Love (STL) campaign in the Richard Armitage Fandom in 2014, fans will propagate acts of kindness to each other and to others.
And in honor of what would have been children’s book author Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel’s 110th birthday on March 2nd, 2014, Jazzbaby of the Funky Blue Dandelion blog has challenged fans to select a favorite children’s book to review and then donate that book to a child or to our local library as part of STL. I hope to do a review soon. But in the meantime, please enjoy my guest poster’s review of:
Bedtime for Frances, A Children’s Book Review for STL by Trudy Brasure
Is there anything that can beat the warm, fuzzy feelings evoked by fond childhood memories? Not for me. I grew up in a big family, where I felt I had a secure part in the loving flow of activity and there was a general order to our days, weekends, seasons, and holidays.
With a house full of children, there was a definite routine for bedtime! After spending all day working her mysterious magic in the kitchen and in the laundry room, mom sat down to read a story or two to the under 10 set before bedtime.
I remember crowding around to get a good view of the pictures while listening to the comforting cadence of mom’s voice. She did a good job of emphasizing anything with exclamation points and getting us involved in the story. That is until she began to nod off… Well, it wasn’t every night, but there were many times we had to prod mom to continue when the voice began to trail away and she mumbled a few catatonic words unrelated to the story at hand.
It’s a wonder she didn’t do this every night, for now I can readily imagine how exhausting her days really were, although she seemed to love her role.
Horrible children that we were, we often found mom’s sleepy state to be hilarious fun. Sometimes we gently opened her eyelids to ‘find’ her and wake her up, or we treated mom like a ventriloquist puppet and moved her lips as we supplied childish lines for her to enunciate that were uproariously funny to us.
She took it all in stride. Mom was great.
The books we read weren’t quite as important as that close, comfy feeling that I recall in snuggling up to mom and assorted brothers in their pajamas on that well-worn sofa with lumpy sections.
We loved the Frances series of picture books by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Garth Williams. Our favorite was Bedtime for Frances. I’ll be donating a copy of this classic book to the nearest public school, where my six year-old daughter attends and where I volunteer in the library.
Frances is a precocious badger who is sent to bed on time, but finds a litany of excuses to get out of bed and go to her parents for one more important reason. Eventually understood threat of corporeal punishment keeps her settled in her bed despite one last ’emergency’ and she falls fast asleep.
One line from the book became a family refrain anytime a word or noise triggered its rhyming start. “Wack, smack, made Frances think of a spanking,” is instantly recognizable to each of my many siblings although we’re spread throughout the continent and are in varying stages of our lives.
But that’s what a good book will do, isn’t it? It reaches across everything that would seem to separate us and reveals how much we are all really the same.
Thanks for Trudy’s lovely trip down memory lane about reading and snuggling with her Mom and siblings while enjoying this and other books. Cheers! Grati ;->
P.S. Here is Trudy’s blurb about herself:
Reader, thinker, and dreamer, Trudy Brasure is a full-time mom and a weekend musician who discovered a new hobby in writing fiction when she fell in love with Richard’s portrayal of John Thornton in 2009. Now a confirmed fan of Gaskell as well as an ardent admirer of Armitage, she is happy to combine both loves in her current writing pursuits. A reluctant resident of the climate-calm California, she unwisely(?) longs to return to New England where she spent her twenty-something years.
P.S. My guest poster is being a bit modest in her bio. So I hope that she doesn’t mind me sharing what I had drafted about her. Trudy Brasure (aka Trudys Tattle on Wattpad) is a popular romance author in the genre of fan fiction–wherein, the author takes an existing story and characters and develops new avenues for them to explore. I am a big fan of Trudy’s stories, having enjoyed reading her two fan fictions of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North & South tale about the industrial revolution in England–with a romance of two very different individuals at the heart of them. The popular 2004 BBC period Drama titled North & South starred British actor Richard Armitage in the role of the successful mill owner John Thornton and Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret Hale.
Trudy’s North & South based fan fic stories are titled: A Heart for Milton, and In Consequence. Trudy’s beautiful storytelling not only gives us an opportunity to enjoy John and Margaret in new or enhanced situations, but her lush descriptions of character feelings and artifacts of the mid 19th century period totally engage the reader. Trudy’s writing is exquisite! As an avid reader of Trudy’s works–I have lost count how many times I have read A Heart for Milton–I feel that I am immersed in the stories and their timeless tales of love and finding common ground.
For more about Trudy Brasure, and to read these tales yourself, please visit Trudy’s Wattpad writer’s site. Her stories are also available for purchase on Amazon Kindle and I also have them in my Kindle for PC–reading them there or on Wattpad as the mood strikes me.
P.S. What is your favorite children’s book? I still need ideas for a book to review for me to do and then donate the book for STL.
P.S. And remember this fellow, Richard Armitage, who likes to tell stories? Yes, he is all of our inspiration. Image courtesy of RANet: richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/cbeebies/album/slides/cbeebies5_036.jpg