Once upon a time, the door to reading challenges was opened to me by a terrific guy. I’d heard about Rest In Peace, which at that time was in its first edition, but being just a beginner at blogging, I had not time to join in the RIP The First. Fortunately, I was able to climb aboard for the first Once Upon a Time, and now, here we are at the fourth. It is always a harbinger of spring to me when this challenge rolls around.
I’m drawn to animal stories of fantasy. Charlotte’s Web first spoke to my heart in 1969, and it has not been quiet since. Many people think it is a book about friendship, which of course it is, but to me it is also a book about loss. It is a lesson which I learned at a very young age, but it has helped me throughout my life: from loss, often comes something good.
Or, how about the adventures of Rat and Mole in Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in The Willows? I’ve begun it a thousand times, but, as with many children’s books, I doubt it’s really a children’s book. Who but adults can fully appreciate the whimsy of animals throwing down their whitewash brushes with a loud, “Bother!” and cavorting down the river in a blue boat?
On a less whimsical note, how about the terror the rabbits of Watership Down feel? Richard Adams created a magical world of talking rabbits, which so many times reminds me of Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of NIMH (even though they, of course, are rats not rabbits). I read this with my mother in 1974 when we took a drive up to a cabin in Ontario, and I have such lovely memories of us sharing this book together.
But, I could also walk through the door which Italian author Italo Calvino holds open for me. What first caught my eye is his book of short stories, Cosmicomics, in which the very first story has people walking to the moon.
The best known story is probably the first, The Distance of the Moon, which takes the fact that the moon used to be much closer to the earth, and builds it into a romantic story about two men and one woman in a tribe of people who used to jump up onto the moon when it passed overhead. (Wikipedia.com)
The possibilities are endless, and the challenge gives us time to explore so many as it begins March 21 and ends June 20. Won’t you walk through the door, or the forest, or the kingdom with us?
Addendum: Was just reminded, while reading Chasing Bawa, about how much I loved George R. R. Martin’s Songs of Fire and Ice series. I’m farily certain that after Cosmicomics, which just arrived from amazon.com today, I’ll be diving into Clash of Kings. Ooh, the thrill of anticipation…