Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Poetry to Grow Up With: Reeve Lindbergh

Reeve Lindbergh writes for "grownups" often enough -- a gifted narrator, she has provided three book-length memoirs of the Lindbergh family. Her father was aviator Charles Lindbergh; and Reeve's mother was Anne Morrow Lindbergh, whose book A GIFT FROM THE SEA is treasured by so many that it has even become the theme of a museum in Florida. Reeve is also a gifted and generous reviewer of books by others, and dedicates time, effort, and funding toward preserving the beauty of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. She serves on the local library board, too.

Her connection with children and her willingness to struggle for exactly the right line of poetry blend to make her children's picturebooks extraordinarily beloved. It's hard to find a decent copy of her earlier books in hardcover, because they've literally been read to death. And as anyone who's tried it knows, to craft poetry for children means at least as many revisions as for adults. Not only do the words need to express ideas and images that children can readily grasp, but they need to flow smoothly from the tongue of the exhausted parent at bedtime.

So it's great to announce that Reeve has done it again: brought forth a picturebook that people can't wait to own and read. It's illustrated with bright, amusing watercolors by Kathryn Brown, and is called MY LITTLE GRANDMOTHER OFTEN FORGETS. You don't need to know that Reeve's son Ben and his relationship with his grandmother Anne Morrow Lindbergh were the starting point for the book -- but it's another aspect of the story's charm. Grandmothers often love us so completely and uncomplicatedly that our return love for them survives even the stages of memory loss. As Candlewick, the publisher, described this:

Sometimes Tom’s grandmother forgets the way home from the market, or that Tom’s name is Tom and not Roy. But Tom doesn’t mind. He loves to help his grandmother and just spend time with her. The special bond between a beloved grandmother affected by memory loss and her devoted grandson is described in Reeve Lindbergh’s most personal book for children, one that is based on her own and her son’s relationship with her mother in the last years of her life. Kathryn Brown’s watercolor illustrations tenderly capture the unique characters -- and the love that is universal.

Here's a sample of the text. Tight, memorable, fun, easy to read alound -- and Reeve can recite it, and I bet others will soon, too:

My little grandmother
can't find a thing.
She can't find her glasses;
she can't find her ring.
She can't find her teacup;
she can't find her shoes.
She can't find her cat --
and that cat's hard to lose!

On Monday March 12, at 4 p.m., Reeve Lindbergh will visit Kingdom Books to read aloud from, and sign, copies of this delightful new book. We have a limited number of copies, which Candlewick is shipping to us ahead of the actual release date of March 13. Please contact us to reserve a signed one (802-748-5488 and

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