First, let it be known that I am tired. As in, really really tired and not entirely confident that I am making sense. Nonetheless, I will boldly forge ahead with what seemed like a really good idea last week. See, I was reading this:
Later on, I will give you the full benefit of all my reactions to this book, but when I had my BIG IDEA, the main thing I noticed was (get ready to be wowed): This lady sure knows how to write about food. I know, I know: duh. But! It brought to mind this fine literary specimen, which I have read out loud, oh, maybe a few hundred times.
If you haven't had the pleasure, it's about a mouse who becomes a cheese taster, and saves one of France's cheesemakers by posting helpful signs on the cheeses, so he can be a useful mouse. Our favorite? "Needs more orange peel." We read it to the small ones with great success from the ages of about 3 to maybe 7.
Here is my thinking: in all likelihood, if you are reading this blog, you are a grown up. And there is probably a gulf between what you are reading, and what your kid is reading (or having you read to him or her, night after night). And I thought, what if there were pairings? As in, wine pairings, but with books? I mean, when I was reading Wolf Hall, and Chestnut was reading Beware, Princess Elizabeth, that was a pairing, and it was awesome. And my half-baked idea is that there must be millions—billions!—of pairings, in which you get to read something that feeds your soul, while your kid gets to read something that feeds his or her soul, and then together you can talk about this and it will be awesome.
That said, I am conflicted about Tender at the Bone. I really enjoyed reading it, but I left feeling uneasy. I don't know if it was about her openly expressed anger at her mother, or if it was just my craven envy of her ability to open herself to adventure of all kinds, when I am feeling so very far from right now. But I did enjoy it. And truly, if you read your kid Anatole, and you read Tender at the Bone, then buy yourselves a wheel of really nice brie, I promise you the conversation will flow.
Are there any pairings that come to mind for you? Put them (or fine cheese recommendations) in the comments.