At a recent trip to the bookstore, I bought Blueberries for Sal for Jenna.
I have terrifically fond memories of this book, in all of its inky-blue illustrated glory. I babysat the two young boys who lived next door to me as a teenager (who are now in their early 20's) and must have read this book to them a million times.
It is a captivating story; gentle, sweet, rhythmically written and though it isn't short, it moves quickly and I have not tired of reading it every night to Jenna. I love hearing Jenna ask for it: "Can we read Blueberries per Sal?" (She's still working on the 'f' sound.)
Lord knows I've read the Dora the Explorer books til my eyes have fallen out, and they are very repetitive and can get irritating. But not my Blueberries per Sal.
I love the mother character in the book: soft and gentle, she is wearing a modest cardigan sweater all buttoned up and knee length skirt and never loses her patience with adventurous Sal. No sunglasses perched on top of her head and no spaghetti strap tank top for her- and certainly no tattoos- and she looks somewhat young and fresh but confident. My favorite part is the drawing at the end of the book where Sal and her mom have returned to their 1948 kitchen and are canning the blueberries together.
Homemaking at its finest.
Sidenote: One of the cutest things about having a three year old who doesn't say the letter F is looking for fireflies while driving in the car at night. "Look, Mommy," Jenna says, "look at all the pireplies!!"
Along the same throwback theme, I played the game Perfection with the girls tonight. We had a great time and did three rounds of play and we tried to beat our own score of how many we got into the little shape spaces before the timer went off. We all improved from round to round and it was a lot of fun.
I played this game as a kid with my mom, who has possibly the most sensitive startle reflex a human being can have. She would SCREAM when the timer went off and all the pieces went flying up in the air, yet she still soldiered on. 'Cause that's just the kind of awesome Mom she is.
We finished the night here by playing a short and tear-ful game of Chutes and Ladders. I was always fascinated as a kid by the board of this game with all of its little morality plays: reading comics instead of studying history? Down the chute you go! Bandaging an injured kitten's paw? Climb up the ladder!! Eating too many cookies? Slide on down! Then there was that HUGE ladder in the middle of the board that you always prayed you'd land on. I would beg my mom and grandma to play with me but they always gently distracted me to another game and finally as I got a little older they confessed that the game just took too long. And they are right. We played for 20 minutes tonight and barely got out of the 30's.
Toward the end, Michaela was losing steam, Jenna was getting punchy and speaking in funny voices, Michaela yelled at Jenna, I yelled at Michaela, Michaela started crying and saying, "I'm having a tough day."
...and it was another fun family game night at the Libuttis.