Once upon a time a very tired Mummy and a very fractious baby Kitty went out for a walk. And as it was raining, and grey and cold and damp they decided to pop into the Oxfam bookshop for a little browse, a little brightly coloured distraction, and a little drying out (for the Mummy at least – this was after all back in the day when I could remember to take the right rain cover for the right bit of the pram with me!).
We had a quick scan of the cookbooks, and the detective fiction, in my perpetual hunt for “Things that have gone out of print that I really wish I’d bought at the time. Or known about”, and then turned our attention to the children’s section.
And there, on the bottom shelf, tucked away in the corner, sat Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack. A board book version, a little well loved, but none the worse for it, and packed with Lynley Dodd’s tongue twisters and gentle illustrations.
So it came home with us, and I read it a couple of times, and Kitty flicked through the pages and then chewed the spine binding until it seemed a bit looser than was really ideal, and I tucked it away on the shelf in favour of something a little sturdier (and possibly waterproof) while we made our way through the chewing everything in sight phase.
And I’m sorry to say there it stayed until I pulled it out in one of those rare bursts of rearranging energy, putting together an Elma sized bookshelf and a Kitty sized shelf a bit higher up.
And as I turned the pages I wondered why on earth I’d put it away, especially given that the rate of consumption of binding glue by a small girl has dramatically decreased, and her sister doesn’t seem to think it anything like as delicious as trying to scavenge the bits of breakfast that fell on the floor but Mummy hasn’t noticed yet because they landed behind the table leg.
Pittery pattery, skittery scattery – ZIP – into my lap scuttled Elma, settling down in my arms for a “‘tory”.
“Duck!” said a little voice, and a pudgy finger reached out to prod the page,
And just like that it hit the favourites list.
Perhaps it resonates more with all of us now that I’m reading it to two little girls, who are constantly learning how to balance wanting to be together with the need for a little time and space of their own!
All Hairy Maclary wants is a nice spot for an afternoon nap. And all Zachary Quack wants is to be cuddled up with his very very bestest friend. We can all relate to the desperate quest for a nap, but Hairy Maclary takes it to new heights, or perhaps that should be depths as he rapidly realises that the duck pond was perhaps not the best place to try, and now he can’t get out!
But as it turns out, sometimes the
baby sister duck that follows you round might just be the very person you need.
With that not so subliminal messaging I think it might just be on the repeat list for a while to come!
Last week’s suggestion from Vickie was the gorgeous looking The Perfect Hug; we’ve got The Perfect Kiss and if the former is anything like the latter it will be a really visual treat, and a lovely read to boot!
And if you have a favourite, or just something fun your little ones have enjoyed reading lately please do join us. The linky is always open for the whole week so there’s plenty of time. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you to tell me what we should be reading!