Great books can do this thing, where they reach an emotional place you might have forgotten about. Not a primary color emotion, but one of the other ones, the kind that when it hits you, you say "Oh! Right—this."

Where do I find this excellent type of book? A book that can limn (sorry!) the subtle emotions? On my children's bathroom floor. Like so: 11828447

It was flipped open on its front—clearly, hastily abandoned while I was hollering up the stairs, "Put your shoes on!' But that meant that when I was up there, I got to read it.

Joyful and mournful at once. Entirely silly but also grave. Moving and beautiful and an utter delight—this book is no longer something my children will tolerate my reading to them. But they do, I see, read it themselves. And if you have someone smallish and warm in the house, you could read it to your person. It will be (I predict): wonderful.

2 thoughts on “Wistfulness

  1. Diamond, I am coming off a spell of crazy busy weeks and finally sauntered over and caught up on multiple posts. Very satisfying. Thank you!
    I think your description of Amos and Boris, “Joyful and mournful at once. Entirely silly but also grave. Moving and beautiful and an utter delight” is true of so many of Steig’s books, really. The other thing that really struck me when I read them with my then-younger kids? He did not condescend. Ever. There is an intelligence in the books that seems to say Reader, (or Listener) I know that you are intelligent too. Now let’s begin…


  2. Never read much Steig- I think he was after my time and, while I kept up somewhat with middle school books, not so much with those for younger readers. Not sure why we never came across the titles when my daughter was a young reader/listener back in the day (18-20 years ago) either. Tis a mystery. I’ll have to track this title down.


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