Rainbows and Happy Trees

Direct from Happy Bloggy Land, I present to you...


and happy trees.

Because my children are always up for a craft even if its sole purpose to provide blog fodder for their mother.

Cheery aren't they?

Raise your hand if you know what children's book the title of this post references? It's from Russel Hoban's A Birthday for Frances. I think the Frances books are part of my short list of required picture books for children. Mr. Hoban managed to capture how children think and what they feel without it being cutesy or pandering. The other thing I love about these books is that the parents are actually parents. They are neither extraneous nor are they buffoons. Frances' mother and father are caring and loving. They allow their children to have adventures yet are always there to help out. And they are sometimes baffled... just like real parents. 

The quote comes from the conversation between Frances and her little sister, Gloria. It is going to be Gloria's birthday soon and Frances isn't exactly excited about it not being her birthday. 

"Frances," said Mother, "wouldn't you and Alice [Frances' imaginary friend] like to come out of the broom closet and help us make place cards for the party?"
Frances came to the table and sat down and picked up a crayon.
"What are you putting on the place cards?" she asked.
"Pretty flowers," said Gloria. "Rainbows and happy trees."
Frances began to draw on a place card, and as she drew she sang:
Rainbows and a happy tree, Are not for Alice or for me. I will draw three-legged cats. And caterpillars with ugly hats. Frances stopped singing. "I'm telling," she said.
"Telling what? said Mother.
"Gloria kicked me under the table," said Frances.
"Mean Frances," said Gloria.
"Gloria is mean," said Frances. "She hid my sand pail and my shovel, and I never got them back."
"That was last year," said Mother.
"When Gloria is mean, it was always last year," said Frances.
If you haven't read these stories to your children, go and check them out of the library right now!

I also referenced Frances in an earlier post from last week.  When I titled the post I Guess I Forgot to Say No Backsies, I was thinking of the book, A Bargain for Frances. This one isn't as well known as the rest of the Frances books. I think it's because for a very long time now, it has only been issued in an I Can Read format. (A travesty, in my humble opinion.) In the book, Frances is planning to go and play with her friend, Thelma. As she is walking out the door, her mother warns her to be careful. When Frances asks why, her mother says it's because when she plays with Thelma, Frances always seems to get the worst of things. Frances heads off to play with Thelma and in the course of the story, ends up buying Thelma's ugly plastic tea set with the money she had been saving to buy the nice blue china one. As they transact the deal, Thelma makes sure to say to Frances, "No backsies," knowing that she has just sold her tea set for enough money to go and buy the one Frances had been saving for. (Thelma had convinced Frances to buy the tea set by telling her that she didn't think you could get that kind of tea set anymore. Not really truthful on her part.) In the end, Frances is able to get the tea set she originally wanted by using the whole 'no backsies'-thing in her favor. It's a nice little morality tale. Read into my sharing it with you anything you want. I'm not being controversial or complaining right now, remember?

And now a brief advertisement. You have a chance (assuming you live in the Chicago area) to see the Curry family acting chops in action. For this weekend and next weekend, you can go see North Park University's production of Kung Fu Suburbia: Cul de Sacrifice. This is actually a three-for-one deal. Not only was M. hired to do props, but B. is in it as well. And if that isn't enough to convince you, J. is acting opposite B. in their respective rolls. (This will be the third time they have acted together. The first was in the Thin Ice production of Oliver! and the second was in Thin Theater's production of Our Town.) It's a funny, tongue-in-cheek, musical comic book adventure for the stage. Why would you miss it? Tickets can be purchased by following the link up above and to further entice you, you can watch the trailer below.


sandwichinwi said…
I don't know if I've ever read A Burthday for Frances, but I LOVE A Bargain for France and A Baby S

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