Friday, August 24, 2007

Thirst for Living

I'm thirsty, said the baby and I need a drink.
So we gave him a bottle, and what do you think?
He started with a sip, and he finished with a sup,
And the pink plastic bottle, he drank it all up.

Thirsty Baby, By Catherine Ann Cullen, Illustrated by David McPhai

Bubble, bubble, pasta pot,
Boil me up some pasta, nice and hot
I'm hungry and it's time to sup
Boil enough pasta to fill me up.

Strega Nona, an old tale retold and illustrated by Tomie de Paola
Here's two children's books full of lessons. Both are stories of abundance, but also teach that too much of a good thing is--- not good.

It never ceases to boggle me to think of all the choices we have each day. We have choices from what to wear, eat, listen to, etc. No need to elaborate, because it's obvious with just a few minutes of thought as to how many directions we can go in any given hour.

In Thirsty Baby, the baby doesn't stop drinking. But the baby said, I'm thirsty and I want MORE. Then he drinks the bathtub, the pond, the river, and the sea. The drawings are adorable and the story reminds me of the old expression 'your eyes are bigger than your stomach.' The baby gets so full he pushes out his hands and says, "That's enough." When you close this book, you can (almost) be sure that from now on this baby is going to be happy with the pink plastic bottle. I also like this book because there's a grandma and grandpa actively participating in the drama.

Strega Nona, is the tale of an old Italian grandma who needs to hire an assistant to do her work while she goes about helping and healing the people of the town . She hires Big Anthony, "who didn't pay attention." When Strega Nona goes to visit Strega Amelia she tells Anthony. "Sweep the house and weed the garden. Feed the goat and milk her and for your lunch, there are some bread and cheese in the cupboard. And remember, don't touch the pasta pot." Anthony has every intention of disobeying Strega and fouls up, because he can't stop the magic pot from filling the town with pasta. He suffers the consequences and has to eat all the noodles. "Now wait, said Strega Nona, "The punishment must fit the crime. And she took a fork from a lady standing nearby and held it out to Big Anthony."
In both books, the characters end up with uncomfortable distended abdomens. Along with not over eating and/or drinking, these stories instruct us not to be greedy. When we 'over do it,' there are sometimes uncomfortable consequences we bring on ourselves. Even us 'grown ups' need a review of these lessons.

Something else I like to be reminded of is---
Never give up your thirst for living!

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