The currently featured book is: Nine Lives: The Folklore of Cats
Cats have been busy since their tenure as gods in ancient Egypt. As we know, cats like to explore. In fact, a cat skeleton was found in a grave dating to 9,5000 BC on the island of Cyprus, where there was no indigenous cat population, so the cat must have brought the cat with them. Medieval monks wrote poems about their cats, and we've read poems had told our children nursery rhymes ever since. And some early Mother Goose versions of (1765) "Cat and the Fiddle" version used the word "Craft" rathe than "Sport":
Hey diddlle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle
The Cow jumped over the Moon
The little dog laugh'd
To see such Craft,
And the Disk ran away with the Spoon...
The currently featured book is: A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales. Like Golden Age children's anthologies, this book for eight to 12 year olds contains both stories and poems on a fairytale theme. Unlike the Golden Age anthologies, illustrations are not its focus. It is, I think, the perfect book for self-reflection on what sort of person one is and wishes to be -- before the cataclysm of adolescences arrives. And the underlying lesson of compassion is a welcome revisit at any age.
Why? This book makes me think of James Hillman's books for adults, The Soul's Code and The Force of Character. This books honors the supporting actors in Life's Story. Or does it shift the reader's orientation away from the only important person ("Me! The Star of the Show") to consider the more complex and feeling side of characters who have only been defined two-dimensionally (in life and literature)? What happens to the Wolf? Suppose Cinderella wasn't a perfect size 3? And how about those cast-off dwarves?
An excerpt from an included poem by Neil Gaiman, Instructions:
Remember your name.
Do not lose hope - what you seek will be found.
Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped
to help you in their turn.
Trust your heart, and trust your story.
Reviewing this gives me an opportunity to post some of Niroot's illustrations.