Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Velveteen Principles?

As much as I like to celebrate birthdays, I also like to find a quite space to contemplate the passing years and get in a little transformative reading. Today I received a clever book by Tina Matthews titled, Out of the Egg. Not to be confused with the T Seuss Geisel honor book, First the Egg.

"Who will help me plant the seed?...Not I said the Fat Cat. Not I said the Dirty Rat. Not I said the Greedy Pig. Then I Shall plant it myself, said the Red Hen. And she did." The story follows a similar plot line as the old tale but with a twist. The Red Hen's chick wants to play with the offspring of the cat, rat and pig under the tree Hen solely nurtured. When Mum says no, chick takes initiative and asks if they would like to play. And they,... "played all day around and about the great whispery tree. And when it was time to go home... the Red Hen gave them each a green seed."

The contemplative moment: Our children have access to opportunities and knowledge forged by all previous generations. Go Green your children will thank you for it. The Fat Cats, Dirty Rats and Greedy pigs expect the goodies for nothing. Hard work will pay off in the end.

Tina Matthews' Japanese woodcut illustrations portraying scenes like the animals watching TV feet up on the coffee table pressing the remote control or pig throwing her hamburger bag (marked with an M ) out of the convertible, made me grin and examine them closely for hidden icons of our era.

How about The Velveteen Principles? I hadn't heard of this book before, but since I'm in a contemplative mood the title intrigued me. The Velveteen Rabbit is a classic written by Margery Williams and illustrated by William Nicholson in 1922 about a boy's cherished toy that desire and love make real. Real is the key word in, The Velveteen Principles by Toni Raiten-D'Antonio, a psychotherapist with a background in theater and television.

The Velveteen principles, A Guide to Becomming Real, Hidden Wisdom from a Children's Classic, is broken down into 12 principles with titles such as, Real is Honest or Real is Grateful. Each principle starts with a quote from the story and then moves into a lengthy explanation of how it applies to becoming our REAL selves. Personally I prefer the prose of the 1922 story.

The contemplative moment: "And then a strange thing happened. For where a tear had fallen, a flower grew out of the ground. . . . it was so beautiful that the little Rabbit forgot to cry, and just lay there watching it. And presently the blossom opened , and out of it there stepped a fairy."

1 comment:

  1. I guess it's time to wish you happy birthday! I'm amazed for all your book choices and will compile them and order thme from our library here. It's also a very good one. I should post something on it. I even used to work there...
    Cheers, Maria.


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