animal family pix


4 thoughts on “#TBT The Animal Family is a metaphor for my family: relatively (pun alert) homogeneous but full of serendipity and dear, fun strangeness. Randall Jarrell’s book was a family read aloud that Papi read again to the some of the grandkids.

  1. Ronnie, I bet you’ve read this poem by Strickland Gillilan, The Reading Mother. (I first heard it when Jim Trelease read it aloud at one of his author talks–The Read Aloud Handbook, a must-have for any family with kids.) I’ve put it in below. What I’m noticing is the read alouds help form the ties that bind. The memory of the sagas in the books we all read aloud is right up there with the memory of the mudlucious (e.e.cummings?) splashing in the pond and ocean.

    I had a mother who read to me
    Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
    Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
    “Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.
    I had a Mother who read me lays
    Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
    Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
    Which every boy has a right to know.
    I had a Mother who read me tales
    Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
    True to his trust till his tragic death,
    Faithfulness blent with his final breath.
    I had a Mother who read me the things
    That wholesome life to the boy heart brings–
    Stories that stir with an upward touch,
    Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
    You may have tangible wealth untold;
    Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
    Richer than I you can never be–
    I had a Mother who read to me.


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