In part, I do this because I want to have a store of positive, charming, beautiful children's books on hand once my own spawn have spawned. It's not that I'm only interested in the old. It's more that I don't want to be stuck with and dependent on Goodnight Moon and I'll Love You Forever. Not that there's anything wrong with those books. I'd just like to offer my kids a wider selection. And let's face it: the children's book industry isn't exactly putting out a lot of titles these days. So many of the best books are long out of print.
I came across just such a book this past weekend in Port Rowan -- Julia Cunningham's Macaroon.
Remember the controversy that arose when I wrote about the problematic racial depictions in The Cricket In Times Square? This book has none of those issues.
The story is about a raccoon who spends each winter in a different human home. (He "adopts" a new child to take him in every year.) But each spring, Macaroon is forced to part from these children when he returns to his life in the forest, and this parting is, as you might imagine, difficult. So Macaroon decides to solve the problem of painful partings by spending the upcoming winter with a "disagreeable" child -- the most disagreeable child he can find -- so that, come spring, he won't mind leaving. The child he finds is a wealthy, spoiled, lonely little girl with named Erika. She is very disagreeable indeed! Drama ensues.
- Sometimes, when a person is disagreeable, it's only because they're unhappy.
- No matter how wronged you may be, forgiveness is necessary for your own future contentment.
- Friendship is important, but loyalty and fidelity to friendship are more important.
- Money can't buy love or cure loneliness.
- Compromises are necessary if you want to have a long-distance relationship.