Seriously. To be fair, though, I was in RI for 3 1/2 beautiful days; I walked, we drove around Newport, I ate, I read, I shopped, I visited, and I slept (some). It was a pleasure to be there AND a pleasure to be footloose and fancy-free. I love my children dearly–I wouldn’t trade them or my life for the world–but a few days of being responsible for no one but myself was incredibly relaxing.
I actually managed to finish a few books while I was there, partly because I purposely picked shorter books to bring with me; I’m reviewing The ACB with Honora Lee first because it’s checked out on my second daughter’s library card, and I really need the space on hers.
Yes, I know I have a problem.
The ACB is a bit of an odd little book, to be honest with you. The story itself is rather sweet, but the tone and the details render it more detached than the subject matter might suggest. Perry is an only child whose parents believe in keeping her schedule full; when one of her after-school activities is abruptly cancelled, however, she convinces her parents to allow her to visit her grandmother on Thursday afternoons instead. Gran is a resident of some variety of care center and her memory is decidedly fading, to the point that her conception of Perry’s identity is decidedly sketchy. She seems to have a fondness for the alphabet, however, and so Perry decides to make an alphabet book with her and the rest of the Santa Lucia community. Gran’s not big into alphabetical order–hence the ACB–but she does collaborate.
I will say that the detached tone may be a cultural thing; Kate De Goldi is from New Zealand, and I’m not terribly familiar with literature from that area. I did, however, find the illustrations odd as well. They’re a level of abstract that compelled me to study them, searching for hidden meaning in each one, and that distracted me from the flow of the story–maybe. (Reading it on the plane may have been the real culprit.)
Ultimately, I enjoyed this one enough to recommend it; it’s absolutely worth your time. Just let me know what you think of it!