A good start

NaBloPoMo Jan2011I just began the Reading 2011 booklist, as I finished a short book sometime after midnight this morning. As is pretty normal for us, we were up into the small hours this morning, talking, reading and playing boardgames. We weren’t ignoring its being the secular New Year’s Eve – we forgot alll about it! Anyhow, I’ll try to be efficient and write it up immediately.

1. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo


Because of Winn-Dixie cover

Because of Winn-Dixie cover

The theme for January on NaBloPoMo, which I’m considering trying again to get me back to regular blogging, is Friends, and that’s really what this sweet book is all about. India Opal, the first-person protagonist, is the lonely little new girl in town, who rescues a stray dog (the eponymous Winn-Dixie) about to be carted off to the pound, and then with his help makes friends with several more long-standing members of the community who also need to make new connections.

It feels weird, when my baby is only six weeks old, and not even paying attention when we read board books to her yet, but I’m already thinking about this and other children’s books in terms of when and how they’ll be suitable for her. I suspect it’ll be about seven years till she’s ready for this one, and there’ll be some cultural stuff we’ll have to explain, since we’re neither in the US nor Christian (India Opal’s father is a Baptist preacher, and while that comes up remarkably little, there are inevitably some references), but it’s a well-written nice story, that doesn’t shy too far away from some hard issues (abandonment and alcoholism, to mention two).

A good book, and one we’ll be keeping for now, at least. (I’m rereading several at the moment, to see which to keep and which to add to our Bookmooch Inventory to give away.)


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