Thursday, December 9, 2010
A Gift for All Seasons
Storytelling is a talent and a great story is an invaluable gift. Sitting on my desk beside me at the moment is another one of those picture books I think I'd like to give to everyone I know, regardless of age. Candace Fleming and G. Brian Karas' Clever Jack Takes the Cake charmingly captures the craft and immeasurable value of a good story. Jack, like Jim and Della in The Gift of the Magi, is poor. He is invited to the princess' birthday party and cleverly finds a way to assemble ingredients and bake her a beautiful cake. Though he carefully transports the cake to the palace, he has a series of adventures along the way and has nothing left for the princess by the time he reaches her. As always, I have no intention of spoiling the story for you and want you to read it for yourself so go buy the book and find out how clever Jack is! The story is completely different from and yet reminiscent of one of my all-time favorite children's books, Phoebe Gilman's Something from Nothing. I am awed by the power of words and there is nothing I enjoy more than getting lost in a good story. As much as I love shoes and jewelry, for me, a good story is the greatest gift (next to my darling daughters and wonderful husband, of course). In life we are all the authors of our own stories - one can only hope there's at least a little Clever Jack in each of us.