Thursday, May 15, 2008

Babar, and a patch of green at the Children's Hall

Another reason to love the Tokyo Metropolitan Children's Hall, that free play space near the kids' school: the library on the 5th floor. It has a teeny tiny "English and Foreign Language" section but what's great is the outdoor patio and rooftop garden! A fine plot of grass -- full of weeds, but the pretty flowery kind, and it was mowed! -- to plunk down with the kids on a warm sunny afternoon like today's.

It's usually quiet at the Hall during the week, and we had the place to ourselves. C looked at some Doraemon books in Japanese, D picked some wildflowers and I read The Story of Babar, you know, the first one published by Random House in 1933. I never had before. Or maybe I just didn't remember it. But that is one strange work of children's lit. Maybe it's because I'm getting over the flu and haven't eaten much and am rather bubble-brained, but it seemed downright trippy.

Weirder still, though, is Madeline and the Gypsies, where the gypsy lady tries to hide Madeline and Pepito in a lion suit, made out of a real lion pelt, to avoid returning them to Miss Clavel. (This after teaching them bad habits, like going to bed without brushing their teeth.) This is what I'm missing not having girls? And I used to cringe reading A Fly Went By ...

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