Okay, it could have been worse, I grant you that. But few things put the lyrics to “Sloop John B” in your head like your 2-year-old throwing up all over herself an hour and fifteen minutes into a five and a half hour drive…and then again two thirds of the way through it…and then again in her bed, in her SLEEP. (And then AGAIN 24 hours later, after I thought she was done. I had to catch the first of that bout in my hands to avoid cleaning out the port-a-crib in the middle of the night again, and then shove the bowl under her four more times that hour.) Add to that the overtired and hangry children, chilly rain keeping said children indoors, and limited cousin time (because who wants to risk catching the stomach flu?!), and I was singing, “I wanna go home” off and on in my head for days. (My family is wonderful, and it was lovely to be with them, but sick kids away from home pack a lot of misery with them.)
Anyway. If you’ve had a rough week as well, you should give Shannon Hale’s latest Princess in Black adventure a try. The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate sees our heroine teaming up with the Goat Avenger AND newcomer the Princess in Blankets to defeat a particularly sneaky monster; it’s pure fun, right down to the blanketed princess’s steed. This is a perfect series for emerging readers, folks–these books are funny, fabulously illustrated, and full of adventure. (You can also read one aloud to a kindergartener in a couple of sittings, or one long one. Think Mercy Watson or Mrs. Noodlekugel.) If you haven’t already read them, start with the first book and prepare to be thoroughly entertained!