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Secretly reading your children’s books?

“Have you been secretly reading your children’s books? You’re not alone. Many of the books aimed at kids, particularly those written for teens and pre-teens, make for great reading for adults too . . . .

“Gracie is a feisty, wee goldfish on the go who becomes an inspiration to the creatures, an alligator and an elephant, that she meets on her journey outside the fishbowl.

“Conn explains that the book helps kids understand a concept that she learned on her own journey of self-discovery in India: the idea of letting go — a Taoist notion. Gracie knows she can do something seemingly impossible and this gives her confidence. The book is a fun read with engaging pictures despite its deeper message.”

— Arts reporter Jan Degrass, Coast Reporter, Sechelt, BC (Nov. 25/11)

Click here to read the complete article online.

“There is a magic in a book for children. Your book has this magic too”

After receiving a copy of Gracie’s Got a Secret for his birthday, my uncle Don, in his mid-80s, sent me a typed letter. Here’s what he wrote:

“A long time, more than 80 years ago, Hart family [my mother’s side] had a children’s book. It was a marvelous book. It was created by your grandmother’s best friend and roommate while she attended classes at Mac Hall [at the University of Guelph, Ont., Canada]. The book did not seem to be anything very special. It started with a 5 cent “HUGE” scribbler, the kind little children took to school to write out their lessons. (These were tough times, money was scarce.) As I remember, all the printing and drawing was done with pencils and wax crayons.

“I don’t remember if the material used was conventional as in ‘Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow”

Or was it all original verses with the pictured colored? Some of it was certainly original. ‘And the Swallermareezeres that swallered themselves.’

“I can’t remember the rest. That much was certainly original. It was my favourite and I heard it every night. . . It’s strange, but that is the only thing that I remember from the whole book . . .

“The old scribbler gradually fell apart from all of the little hands that wanted to hold it. It was sort of like shuffling a deck of cards to get all of the pages back in place.

“There is magic in a book for children. Your book has this magic too. . .”

Love, Uncle Don