This is purely a nostalgia post, I think. Well, maybe a little more than that. But still...
We've been reading this book almost every night before bed. I love it, and so does Tsia. I think the story itself is elegantly told, with just enough detail for a preschooler without overwhelming her. And is it just me or are the illustrations really beautiful? Do I just think that because I grew up with this book, or are they honestly great?
I don't know, but I can tell you that I found a reprint of the book on ebay, and when it arrived I discovered that the illustrations had been replaced with someone else's poor imitation, with some unfortunate results. We're sticking with this version. (Why do great books like these go out of print, anyway? Hello, Brambly Hedge?)
Our copy is well-loved, and the binding has broken so the pages are falling out. Does anyone know how to go about having it repaired? This isn't one of those projects I'm willing to experiment with by myself.
And this is what makes the book special, to me at least: my Dad must have purchased it for me on one of his early (and annual) trips to Antarctica via New Zealand, and he gave it to me when I was about Tsia's current age (yeah, yeah; don't do the math, ok?). So 35 years later I re-inscribed it to her.
I guess that's how traditions develop, right?
P.S. Dad is on his way back to Antarctica right now, and every time I read the story I think of him.