Lampa muscata de caine

Stam intinse pe pat si povestim. Eu ii spun ca in casa in care ne aflam acum a locuit mai demult un catel. Ar vrea sa aiba si ea un catel, dar stie ca doar cand ne vom muta intr-o locuinta la curte va putea avea unul. Dar asta nu inseamna ca nu ii plac in continuare toate istorisirile, povestile sau interactiunile cu caini si catei. Bunicii ei au de cateva luni un pui de caine tare dragalas si nazdravan si se bucura mereu sa se uite la filmuletele cu aventurile micului patruped.

La un moment dat imi zice:

⁃ Mami, din lumanarea noastra a muscat un caine!

⁃ Care lumanare, frumoasa mea?

⁃ Asta de deasupra patului!

⁃ Asta este o aplica!

⁃ Da, lampa asta, vezi? E muscata de caine! Uite acolo!

⁃ Si cum crezi tu ca a ajuns un caine pana sus acolo sa poata musca din ea?

⁃ S-a urcat pe o scara?

⁃ Ma intrebi sau banuiesti?

⁃ Eu nu banuiesc! Eu vad acolo o muscatura de caine si iti spun! Nu ma crezi, uita-te tu singura!

Ma uit, mai mult amuzata de imaginea unui caine asa de aventuros si curajos care, dupa ce s-a catarat pe o scara atat de inalta, mai are chef sa muste din lampa… Si imi aduc aminte de cainele meu din copilarie care imi rodea caietele de teme si manualele. Iar profesoara nu ma credea niciodata cand ii spuneam ca el a ros tema la mate.

Dar micuta mea are dreptate: lampa noastra chiar arata de parca a muscat un caine din ea! Si ii raspund si mai amuzata:

⁃ Uite vezi, de asta nu vreau eu sa avem un caine. Daca se dezechilibreaza si cade de pe scara cand se urca el acolo sus sa muste din lampa?

⁃ Mama, cainii nu se urca pe scara!!! Am spus si eu o poveste! Lumanarea aia am stricat-o eu cand am aterizat de pe luna mica! Prin tavan am aterizat cand s-a stricat racheta, ai uitat?

N-am uitat, cum sa uit tocmai povestea aterizarii ei de pe luna mica? I-am scris si o carte, tocmai pentru a nu uita niciodata cum a venit ea in lumea asta a noastra, unde uneori adultii uita sa mai creada in povesti…

Sfanta iubirii

Este onomastica domnisoarei noastre dragi, fetita care a venit de pe luna mica. Se joaca cu tata in timp ce eu ii pregatesc in secret un tort de clatite. Nu stiu reteta exacta pe care o folosesc Pettson si Findus, personajele indragite din cartile lui Sven Nordqvist, dar sper sa ii fac o surpriza placuta.

Il ornez, improvizez un soi de lumanare si o chem sa sufle in ea. Emotionata, isi pune o dorinta si apoi sufla. Ne asezam in jurul mesei sa savuram fiecare din felia de tort impartita de tati.

⁃ Mami, azi e sfanta mea, nu?

⁃ Da, iubito! Este sfanta ta.

⁃ De ziua mea adevarata facem noi doua un tort adevarat?

⁃ Desigur! Dar asta nu e tort adevarat?

⁃ Este… dar tot clatite sunt. Clatite pot manca oricand, nu doar de ziua mea… Urmatorul sfant al cui e?

⁃ Al meu cred, ii raspunde tati. Si apoi urmeaza ziua ta de nastere.

⁃ Si sfanta lui mami cand e? Mami ce sfanta are?

Pufnesc in ras la gandul unei sfinte cu numele meu. Domnita poate, dar nu sfanta.

⁃ Mami nu are o sfanta, ma scoate tatal ei din incurcatura. Ea are doar zi de nastere.

⁃ A fost ziua ei de nastere! I-am desenat o felicitare si am mancat tort la terasa. Dar vreau sa aiba si mami o sfanta. Daca nu este o sfanta cu numele ei, va fi sfanta iubirii! Ea ne iubeste cel mai mult pe lumea asta si are grija de noi. Vrei mami, sa fii sfanta iubirii?

Sunt oameni care stiu exact ce vor fi cand vor fi mari. Altii isi doresc sa fie piloti sau doctori. Unii se nasc cu talente si abilitati de genii. De conducatori, lideri sau campioni.

Eu nu stiu ce altceva mi-as fi putut dori sa fiu in viata asta. Ma bucur doar ca sunt mama fetitei asteia minunate si ca de acum am si eu o sfanta, sfanta iubirii.

3 Iunie, Ziua Nationala a Bicicletei

M-am bucurat sa aflu ca astazi este prima Zi Nationala a Bicicletei! Este activitatea noastra preferata ca familie, avem toti trei biciclete si ori de cate ori timpul si timpurile ne permit, iesim sa ne dam cu bicla prin oras 🙂

Noi fetele avem biciclete mici si usoare, rosii si cochete! Precum personajul favorit al fetitei noastre, Lotta de pe strada Zurbagiilor. Cum care Lotta? Lotta lui Astrid Lindgren! Mai bine zis a lui Ilon Wikland, caci ea a imaginat si desenat asa minune de fata.

Acum asteptam cuminti sa mai crestem si sa ne inlocuim bicicletele mici de oras cu unele mai performante. Si apoi vom putea sa ne plimbam pe dealuri si prin paduri, departe de zgomotul si aglomeratia orasului.

Astazi nu este deloc cea mai luminoasa sau calduroasa zi, dar este numai buna pentru o plimbare cu bicicleta.

Iar pentru lectura de seara stiu sigur ce carte vom alege. Lotta, desigur!

The world needs who you were made to be

By Joanna Gaines

illustrated by Julianna Swaney

Tommy Nelson books, 2020

A few years back, my dearest friend told me the story of a celebrity who went to a very faimous designer/stilist/life changing type of person. And she told the specialist that she wants a change and she have to reinvent herself. And the guy asked her how she wants to be, the new reinvented her. And she said that would like to be like X public person and a little bit like that person and so on… The answer was: How about being who you really are? And I often asks myself if I am who I really am or I just try to please the others or to be who someone else needs me to be. Because we live among people and how they see us and their opinion about us matter, we like it or not.

I think that we prepair our kids to be not who they really are and we keep on doing that since they are very little. We compare them with other kids; our parents compare them with us at their age; we ask them what they want to be when they grow up and we also offer the “right” answers. And by doing so, we limit their options with our subjectivity and our own limitations. So maybe the best thing we can do is let them be who they natural feel to be. And trust them that they know best what they want to be or how they want to live.

The book is written in sort verses that rhyme and are easy to remeber and repeat. It is recommended for ages 4-8, but depending on the child history of reading, it’s appropiate for children smaller than 4 yo.

Joanna Gaines is a famous designer who, together with her husband and their 5 kids, had a famous TV show that she end it due to the excesive exposure of the family.

The message she wants to send to all the children of the world is that it is ok to be different, to want different things and to get where we want to go on different paths. Because it is human nature to be diverse, to have unique qualities and abilities. Maybe some kids like to work in team and maybe some are more productive working alone. Maybe some are very serious when completing a task and other like to tell a joke or sing or make a special sound ( my daughter does that) when they are focusing on a job.

And as long as we prepare ourselves the best we can, the journey we take is the same for each and everyone of us. And the sky, as we take the journey, is filled with all our beautiful differences! And it is a picture worth making and seing, because we have just one live and we must live it the best we can. As who we were meant to be.

Sweet child o’ mine GUNS N’ ROSES

Illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

Jimmy Patterson Books, 2020

It rains for days now. It is not a November rain, but it got me thinking of Guns n’ Roses. For me, living in a ex-comunist country, the ‘90 were full of discoveries from the “free” world. Guns n’ Roses was one of them and somehow represented a break from the old and a chance for new beggings.

The book is based upon the lyrics of the song Sweet child o’ mine, wrote by Axl Rose in 1987 for his girlfriend of that time, Erin Everly. In the book the main characters are a little girl and her mother, who journey through life and music. The duo was inspired by Maya and Natalie Rose, daughter and niece of band’s manager Fernando Lebeis. The girls both grew up touring with the band, so the connection between them was always very strong.

The sweet and magic illustration belongs to Jennifer Zivoin and it carries us away, in a special place of joy and laugher. For me it was a very emotional moment to open the book and start reading the lyrics to my daugther. And to listen to the song and tell her all about that time when I was such a big fan of GnR. She liked the illustrations in the book and the song also. Because she likes to sing very much (she sings most of the time) ans she wants to be a rock&roll singer. And a pilot, engineer or mother… She cannot decide yet, but it is still time for that. For the moment we just enjoyed the book that gave us the feeling of traveling and freedom and carefree. In a time when all of this was impossible and everyone had to stop for a while, in order to protect and heal.

Eric Carle’s magic butterflies

From time to time the world makes place for a very special guest, whose life will be a celebration of beauty, joy and colour. One of these special creators was Eric Carle. The illustrations that he had imagine and drew, all the stories behind every line or contour he ever made, were stories of life. Pieces of his heart and playful soul. Because one cannot imagine The hungry catterpillar or see the world through The brown bear’s eyes if he didn’t have a warm, loving heart. To share with others.

I first encouter Eric Carle’s magic books when I was 40 years old 🙂 I know, a little too late, but it wasn’t too late to fall in love with his beautiful and colorful work.

My daughter loves his books, all of them in the same way. She learned to count with the hungry catterpillar and to tell the time along with the grouchy ladybug.

As his star went up in the sky, from where it came to brighten our world, we are left sadden and more alone. But that doesn’t mean that we won’t continue to cherrish his stories, maybe now more than ever before.

If I could ask him just one question, I think it would be: Brown bear, what do you see from above?

We all can show up and do our best

When I started this project, I knew nothing about blogging, themes or pages on wordpress. It still feels like I know very little, but somehow I tried my best to make it a place where I could interact with people that have similar interests. This need of showing up and doing my best was something I felt compelt to do. It was a duty, imposed by me out of respect. For myself and more important, for others. To, at list, show up and do my best.

My daughter is finishing kindergarten this June. She will go to school in September, where everything will be brand new: new teacher, new collegues, new classroom, new rules. A big, scarry unknown for her and also for us, her parents. It will be the start of a new chapter in her life; with duties and lots of things to do and homeworks. A place where she will have to show up every day and do her best because she will have no other option.

She often asks me, in a small, almost crying voice, if I will go with her in the classroom. Of course she knows that it won’t be impossible, but she still asks me. Is a thing she does, more like a ritual for her to be more brave in facing this big unknown she will meet soon. And somehow she is also morning the preschooler that she will no longer be. The chair she will no longer take in her actual classroom. The love she think will be lost in her kindergarten teacher’s heart. The memory of her, when all of her friends will go to different schools in town.

It is a process and her mind knows it. She cannot go over it or under it; she has to go through it. As the brave brothers from the book “We’re going on a bear hunt” found out, when you’re facing a big, scary problem you have to solve it.

I try to tell her the truth about the journey that awaits her: it will be hard sometimes, as any begining is; some days she will cry or laugh or miss me. She will learn new things and she would do everything to earn her place there, in the new group. She will not always be her best and she would sometimes fail. But she will try again and again until she will get the work done. Even if she hates not knowing stuff or how to do things.

And most important, I try to explain her that school will be her job, it will be her duty to show up and do the best that she can. And that she will be ok. I let her have her fears and worries, as one cannot tell a 6 yo:”Hey, listen, you don’t have to be afraid of the big unknown in front of you”. Because it is a normal emotion to feel scared. And to be excited and curious also. After all, is the journey that we remember, right? And the friends we meet along the way and all the things we discover. Because in the end every kid will learn to write and read and will certainly know the time table. So the journey is all that matters and we have to make the most out of it.

It takes a village

by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Illustrated by Marla Frazee

For the last 6 years, since my daughter was born, I asked myself often if the truth behind this saying is still actual. And if so, where was this village when I need it to help me raise my beautiful girl? Now I think that in fact I was strong enough to not need the whole village. But still it would had been great for her to grow surrounded by lots of family and people who loved her.

When I saw this picture book, already knowing the work of illustrator Marla Frazee, I though I would give it a try.

Marla Frazee, for whose who aren’t familiar with her work, is the person behind “The boss baby” character. And the illustrator of “The seven silly eaters”, a great book in rhyme that my daughter loves very much.

“It takes a village” has also beautiful, vivid illustrations. The message in the book is simple, as it should be, considering it is a picture book for young readers ( above 4 years of age I would say). That a child can bring a village together; that children need good exemples in their life, need to be surrounded by champions. A child, any child has to learn that in order to achieve greatness you have to put a lot of work first. And dedication. That all our children needs a playground ; to grow, to explore the world, to thrive. And it is our duty, of each person from “the village” to make the effort to build it. Can we do that for our children?

Siblings Day

On 10th of April, in US at least, is celebrated Siblings Day.

I don’t have a sibling, but as a child I wanted so much to have one so at 3 or 4 years old I invented myself a brother. When my kindergarten teacher asked my mother why my brother doesn’t live with us, I knew I’ve gone too far with my imaginary brother.

As teenager and then young adult I tried to have a sister women or even more. But somehow our sisterhood would always fall apart.

Now I finally have a sister girl. We have the same last name, we speak the same language ( too much sometime), we sometimes get on her Dada’s nerves with the same things that we do. We are two girls growing together, hand in hand. We see the world through the same lenses and we smile at all the beauty life has given us.

I reviewed today our books about siblings. We have a few, some or them are great children’s books. And the first siblings I wanted to share with you are the ones in Astrid Lindgren’s books. Lotta and her siblings, Madicken and her sister and of course, the children from Noisy Village.

Now is the siblings that went on a bear hunt turn to greet us. And Laura Ingalls Wilders characters from the “A little house” serie to present their adventures. The Aaron Becker trilogy , “ Journey”, “Quest” and “Return” is another opportunity to find out how the siblings we find along the journey can change our life in more ways than our real siblings do.

And, of course, are the siblings from the animal kindgom that we love so much: Martin Wadell’s Owl Babies and Ian Falconer’s Olivia and her little brother. And the ducklings from Robert McCloskey’s book. Or Hans Fisher’s character, Pitschi, a little kitten who, unlike his siblings, wanted to be something else.

I couldn’t end the siblings parade without Maurice Sendak sisters or Shaun Taun’s brothers from the “Rules of summer”. Or Judith Viorst’s Alexander and his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And the seven silly eaters that Marla Frazee illustrated. We have them in Romanian, but the adventures and the fun are the same.

But the most iconic book about siblings and the magic of joy and play is somehow related to Mary Poppins and the two brothers that were lucky enough to had her in their lives.

So, today will be a great day to hug your siblings, if you’re lucky enough to have them in your live. To tell them that the love is still there, even if you live on different countries or continents. Or you are estrange from some time now.

And if you didn’t had a Mary Poppins in your life so far, is not late to go out there and find one. To teach you that the sky is the limit for your adventures and discoveries. And all of your dreams. Away from the worries, viruses or problems. That will help you see the beauty you already have in your life and all the magic around you.