Today's Wonder of the World is...Books That Bewitch Unsuspecting Children, Take Over Their Brains, and Rule The Entire Direction of Their Lives!
Okay, so I might be exaggerating just a tad.
But people, I love this book from my childhood.
As you can see, it's written and illustrated by Wende and Harry Devlin. I'm trying not to hyperventilate because I just googled them and found a website HERE! As it turns out, they've written several other books that I'd never even heard of! Rest assured, people, as God is my witness, I will read those books before the last leaf of autumn falls! Watch out, kids at the library! Outta my way!
But back to this post...
I just read Old Black Witch! for the eight hundred fifty first time to Sam (and yes, he tried to read it himself but I wrestled him to the ground and pulled it out of his grubby little hands,) and I made a shocking discovery:
JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING I'M CRAZY ABOUT IN LIFE IS IN THAT BOOK!
This makes me wonder...
Is this just a happy coincidence? Or something more...mysterious?
Would I still have loved those things if I'd never seen that book before?
Or did Old Black Witch! TAKE OVER MY BRAIN?
In either case, I still love it.
Hey, I've got a great idea! Let me tell you the story!
Please? Pretty please, with sugar and a cherry on top?
And as I tell it, I'll show you pictures of all the things Old Black Witch! made me love, so you can see what I mean. Okay?
You don't really have a choice in this, so just nod your head.
Wonderful! Let's begin.
Once upon a time there was a boy named Nicky and his mother named Mother.
(There was no daddy. Don't ask me where he was.)
Anyway, Nicky and his mother got in the car and moved to New England.
Flickr photo by yelovet00
New England! Where I forced my newlywed husband to go on our very first vacation because I couldn't wait any longer to see it for myself! Where I ate my first lobster! Where the waitress gathered the entire kitchen staff to our table and made us order again in front of them, just so they could all hear our southern accents!
Nicky's mother moves them to New England so that she can find an old broken down house and turn it into a tea room.
Flickr photo by Mr. Ducke
I've ALWAYS wanted to buy an old broken down house!
She plans to put red checkered curtains on the windows
Flickr photo by kexi
And Sweet William on the tables
Flickr photo by penwren
One of my favorite flowers!
And of course serve tea!
Flickr photo byrejohnston123
Nicky and Mother set a fire in the fireplace and have just gotten started cleaning and scrubbing when out stumbles Old Black Witch! She tries to scare them off, but alas, they are determined to stay. Mother has already spent all their her money on the house, and besides that, they're excited about the tearoom. They've even planned the menu.
The Jug and Muffin will serve
Flickr photo by simply photo
And another favorite:
Flickr photo by sitesbystacey
Biscuits and honey!
"But what will become of me?" the old witch asks.
Mother and Nicky let her set up a bedroom in the attic.
Flickr photo by swambo
I've always wanted an attic bedroom!
Old Black Witch loves it up there, thanks to the spiderwebs and bats. She just wishes she had a couple of spotted toads to keep her company. She stays anyway.
The tearoom opens, and it's quite a hit amongst the society ladies. It's such a hit in fact, that Mother needs more help! Old Black Witch joins in, and before long she's proven herself to be quite the cook and has endeared herself to everyone, despite her witchy ways.
(Hmm. This sounds familiar. Anyone who's read French By Heart probably recognizes a similar character. And she was/is completely real! I promise I didn't model her after Old Black Witch! But what a slightly creepy coincidence.)
Eventually the news of the tearoom's success got around to some bad guys.
Flickr photo by Futuregirl LeahRiley
(Not that I love bad guys. Unless they're cartoony like those, with black masks on their faces and dollar signs on their moneybags!)
At first Old Black Witch cheers them on, since she's a witch, naturally, but then she realizes that they're stealing from her!
So she changes them into toads.
Flickr photo by Superman Pete
(Okay, so these are tree frogs. But you get the idea.)
And pops them into a birdcage.
There's my favorite birdcage!
(Pay no attention to the angel inside it. I had no toads and I like the symbolism.)
All is right with the world. The tearoom has been saved, Nicky and Mother are happy, and Old Black Witch has a pair of toads to add to her attic bedroom.
So there you go. My psyche, on display for all to see.
It's a fun book, especially at Halloween.
So tell me, what do you think? Did the book make me love the things I do? Or did I love the book, even as a first grader, because the seeds of my favorite things were already planted in my brain?
And what about you? Think about it, won't you? Are there books from your childhood which are full of your favorite things? I'd love to hear about them!
Have a wonderful Friday, everyone! And a fabulous weekend!
Oh, and "Bats! Crickets! And snakes' knees!"