Delightful Drawings, Stories, Adventures and Blessings from the nest of Illustrator / Writer Penelope Pratley
|Just a few favourites|
I am writing this from a position of privilege. My house is full of books! Cases with books stacked in stacks. The shelves no longer capable of displaying them neatly with their spines all in a row, neatly arranged by colour and size. All sorts of books. Books about fairytales, adventure stories, whimsical picture books. Soulful, gut wrenching, heartbreaking, life lessons. Mysteries, magic, murder. Classic tales retold. Books that I have read and read again. I very rarely part with a book once I've read it, and I must admit I am not a book lender. I am a great believer in re-reading books at different stages throughout life. It reveals a lot about how the heart grows and opinions change. I think writers are magicians. The way they create whole worlds of other thinking, feeling beings for us to learn from, criticise and fall in love with astounds me. Pages and pages of words all interlocking to create meaning and, in a way, life. I was never particularly social at school and I delighted in filling up my library card but nothing can truly explain the joy I feel when I buy a book to add to my ever growing trove. I am fickle, I do like a good cover but ultimately the deciding factor is the voice of the story itself. I always flip through a book randomly before purchasing and read the first paragraph on whatever page happens to open before me. If that holds my attention then it belongs to me. I very rudely and very rarely read a book based on a recommendation. There are three exceptions to that rule. The first are two books that were my Mother's and it wasn't so much a recommendation but that I grew up with them and they grew me. The third is a book gifted to me by my Mother-in-law.
The first is 'The Little Green Road To Fairy Land' by Author and Illustrator Ida Rental Outhwaite. A tale of a fairy who decides to become a human girl to heal a mothers broken heart.
The second is 'The Golden Book of Fairy Tales' Translated by Marie Ponsot and Illustrated by Adrienne Segur. A classic compendium of traditional stories from Russia, Germany, France, and Japan.
And finally - one of the most precious books I have ever read - 'The Lady of the Chimney Corner' by Alexander Irvine. As the author so eloquently writes in his foreword
"This book is the torn manuscript of the most beautiful life I ever knew. I
have merely pieced and patched it together, and hove not even changed
or disguised the names of the little group of neighbours who lived with us,
at "the bottom of the world".
I adore books and hope in the future to have one sitting amongst my shelves that I have written. One to join the chaos of our small house with shelves that are full to bursting with books just waiting to tell me their story one more time.
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