I will warn you now, this will be a meandering blog post, describing a meandering day with twists and turns. So, a question. How old are you before you’re too old to read children’s picture books? The answer…you’re never too old to read picture books.
One Saturday, Susan and I started out early from Warwick. Our goal was to visit Roger’s Book Barn in Hillsdale, NY. Secondarily, we wanted to stop at the Hillsdale General Store. Roger’s is in the middle of nowhere and you can meander through its aisles for hours. Needless to say, we both got some books…me some mysteries (but, of course!). Fun was had.
Next was the General Store. It was so cute and very tempting, but we restrained. Being hungry after shopping, we entered Crossroads Food Shop right next to the General Store for some very tasty pancakes (me) and omelets (Susan). So, Hillsdale has more to offer than we imagined. If you ever want an adventure, try it.
Not wanting to rush our way home, I let Susan pick the route. Surprisingly, it led us to Hudson, NY. For the longest time, we both kept on saying “Remember that town we went to that we really liked? What was its name?” Well, it turned out to be Hudson. As we walked its streets, I kept saying, I remember the streets being much wider. Susan kept on saying, it was near the river and I remember it being cuter. Obviously our memories were playing tricks on us…making us remember the sunnier side of the street.
Further in our meandering, we hit Saugerties, NY and the Inquiring Minds Bookstore. Which brings me back to the question: How old are you before you’re too old to read picture books? And the answer: Never!!! Because there, in the Inquiring Minds Bookstore, staring at me, face out, was Madlenka by Peter Sis. A quick scan of the book and I knew it was mine. I used to read to my children all the time and even when they were in their teens, we’d go to Barnes & Noble and look for the perfect children’s book. I knew Madlenka would fit the bill. (Other perfect picture books are the standard, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon by Jules Bass and Debbie Harter and There are Rocks in My Socks Said the Ox to the Fox-we each have our own copy of this one-by Patricia Thomas and Mordicai Gerstein.) Madlenka has a loose tooth and she must tell everyone. So she runs downstairs from her apartment and walks around the block telling all her friends, the baker, the newspaper vendor, etc. Sis’ view of the world is unique. I can’t even describe how he draws the courtyard of the apartment complex. The book has cutouts. You need to turn the book this way and that to read everything. The drawing is AMAZING! You can read Madlenka over and over and find something new in his drawings. I must now go and get his other books, some including Madlenka and some without.
So, I’ll end my meandering tale now and tell you that a meandering day of bookstores and sightseeing and new towns is the perfect day. And if it ends up with a new favorite book, all the better.