Saturday, September 12, 2009

Blueberry Girl

For the past couple of weeks, we've taken to reading to Sophie whenever she's awake. I know she's not comprehending any of the content but I'd like to think that reading even at this stage helps her cognitive and emotional development and starts introducing her to language. Besides, I love the closeness it fosters when we read to her. So far, we've read her "I Love You Through and Through", "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!", and "Olivia". Today, a new book arrived that I can't wait to read to her. Thanks to our former student, David, we now have Neil Gaiman's "Blueberry Girl" to add to Sophie's growing library. It's truly one of the loveliest books for parents and parents-to-be of daughters and I had to fight back the tears while reading through it this morning.

It started out as a poem Gaiman wrote for a friend who was expecting a daughter and he ended up making copies of it for various other people. It wasn't until he let illustrator Charles Vess (of Stardust fame) read the poem did they decide to collaborate and turn it into a book. In this note, he shares his sentiments on the development of "Blueberry Girl". Enchanting, beautiful, lyrical, and fantastic, it's a poem, a prayer, and a blessing all rolled into one. It has to do with wishing for your daughter hope, wisdom, self-esteem, and enjoyment of life- truly, truly exquisite, and we wish it all for our dear Sophie...

Here's an animated peek into the book with Neil Gaiman reading:

"Words can be worrisome, people complex,
motives and manners unclear,
Grant her the wisdom to choose her path right,
free from unkindness and fear.

Let her tell stories and dance in the rain,
somersault, tumble, and run,
Her joys must be high as her sorrows are deep.
Let her grow like a weed in the sun.

Ladies of paradox, ladies of measures,
ladies of shadows that fall,

This is a prayer for a blueberry girl."

-Excerpted from Blueberry Girl, Neil Gaiman

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