I’ve almost got this thing blacked out! Here are two CBRBingo11 reviews — both books courtesy of my children.
CBR11Bingo: Banned Books — A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, E.G. Keller (Illustrator)
I can’t remember who got this for my kids — I want to say it was Caitlin_D, but I might be wrong. The thing is, I have many wonderfully liberal and subversive friends and family who would all jump at the chance to buy my boys a book about Mike Pence’s gay rabbit getting married. We’re pretty lucky.
“Stink bugs are temporary. Love is forever.”
In addition to this being an Important Book, it’s also a really well-done children’s story. My sons are 6 and almost 9, so it’s been a while since I’ve sat and read them a book. But this is exactly the kind of work we would have loved when they were still tiny enough to read a post-bath book with me, all three of us snuggled up on a twin bed. The illustrations are bright and fun (I love Marlon’s bow tie) and the story is sweet and easy to understand — let’s all treat people (and bunnies) nicely, okay?
CBR11Bingo: Back to School — From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
This is one of my all-time favorite books, and I was so happy to get to reread it for the back-to-school square. I have been volunteering in my kids’ library once a week, and snagged this off the shelf when I had some downtime yesterday. I can’t believe how much of it I remembered, despite the fact that I probably haven’t read it since middle school.
“Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away. That is, running away in the heat of anger with a knapsack on her pack. She didn’t like discomfort; even picnics were untidy and inconvenient: all those insects and the sun melting the icing on the cupcakes. Therefore, she decided that her leaving home would not be just running from somewhere but would be running to somewhere.”
12 year old Claudia and her 9 year old brother Jamie run away to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in the 1960s. While there, they stumble across a angel statue that may or may not have been sculpted by Michelangelo. Claudia, who ran away just to try something different, decides she cannot go back to her home until she solves the mystery of the angel.
To me, the mystery of the angel was sort of secondary. My favorite part of this book, both when I read it originally and on my reread, was the details of day to day life living in a museum. I mean, can you imagine! The kids sleep on magnificent beds, spend their days sitting in with tours to learn about art and history, wash in the restaurant fountain at night. Claudia is very detail oriented, and Jamie is very frugal, so they plan out every bit of their day — how to avoid the guards, how to wash their clothes, when and where to eat. Rereading it at 33 makes me feel the same as it did more than 20 years ago — I’m very jealous, and sort of want to try it for myself.