There are moments in life, where you have to pause and look back.
On your own life, the many winding roads that led you to where you are now. Be thankful for the here and now. Looking towards a bright feature with hope in your heart.
Thinking of the people that share and enrichen our life with their presens like dear friends and family. Take time to think about what our parents went through and how we ourselves now are dealing with things maybe even being parents ourselves now.
And above all the feeling of love for life and the whole world.
A thought and feeling like this can be triggered by a special moment with a loved one. Or a scent that reminds us of long gone times. Or by a book that moves us to tears and makes us think about life…
Just recently I reviewd a book by Patricia Polacco here already. Now I read another one of her books, which I simply have to share here also – it is a book about a doll again, but this time it tells a story of life and love and family:
“Betty Doll” by Patricia Polacco*
(Puffin Books. Reprint Oktober 2004. English, 40 pages, Ages: 4-8)
“When the family’s farmhouse burns to the ground, little Mary is devestated beacuse all of her five dolls were destroyed in this fire. So when her mother announces that they are going to make her a new doll, she is overjoyed.
But little does she know that Betty Doll will travel with her as her closest confidant through her whole life, watching as first Mary Ellen grows up, then her children, and her grandchildren. Along the way, Betty is privy to family events big and small: a devastating blizzard, tea parties, weddings, floods, illness, births, deaths, and war. When a much older Mary Ellen discovers she has cancer, she writes a letter to her grown daughter, Tricia, telling her the story of Betty Doll, and passing on her own abiding love for Tricia.”
“Mary Ellen…today we are going to make you a new little dolly!” Momma said.
She helped me cut her out. I sewed the seams together all by myself, stitch by stitch. Then Momma found some old pillow stuffing and filled her up. When I sewed her, I felt that she was so perfect.
“What are you going to do about her face, Mary Ellen?” Momma asked.
I knew exactly what she looked like in my heart. So when I started to embroider her face, it just came… simple as that… it came! She had beautiful sky blue eyes, a delicate nose and a sweet pink mouth, almost like a little bow. Then I named her Betty!
The author has dedicated this book to her mother, Mary Ellen. She tells a story with touching words and beautiful pictures as a part of their own family history. The wonderful illustrations by Patricia Polacco contribute greatly to the mood of the book. The black and white drawings are accented with a little paint and eventually one even can find the Polacco family photos integrated in the drawings . The story, told through the letter of her mother, begins in 1900 and extends to the present. This is certainly not a simple or typical children’s book. Although the author manages to tell this story in light and comprehensible words from the perspective of the little girl, making it attractive and comprehensible for children. However, rather older children and adults will be able to grasp the whole story in all its nuances .
Polacco takes the reader along on a journey into the story of her own family.
She portrays a life through the doll who functions as a constant, friend and protector, always faithful by Marys side. With this little book Polacco manages to tell a touching story that will move its reader to tears. A story of family traditions, courage, strength, the course of life …
but above all, of love.
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