Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The Southern Belle Primer or Why Princess Margaret Will Never Be A Kappa Kappa Gamma

This is a very short little book but chock full of absolutely hilarious "rules" required to follow to be a Southern Belle.  A surprising list of those who make it and those who don't -- Lynda Johnson, where WERE your white kid gloves?

While this comes across as being a satirical work, and I suppose it is, any girl (we are always girls, you know) from the south, especially growing up in the 50's, 60's and prior, will recognize many of the traditions listed in this book.  Anybody from the North reading this will think it is a joke but it isn't. 

While the book focuses on the "elite" class of places like San Antonio, Dallas and Mobile, most of the traditions laughed at discussed were part of our everyday life.  I still won't wear white shoes before Easter and would never think of wearing them after Labor Day.  We all dressed up with gloves and hats and I still never feel "dressed" without stockings.  The "wash and wear hair" doesn't do much for me either -- how DO we live without AquaNet?  I think the funniest part of the book was the concept of "tacky".  We STILL judge things by their tackiness -- it is just part of who we are.  Now, in regards to wanting to be buried facing Nieman-Marcus -- hmm... that would have to be in my backyard because we just live down the street from NM. 

I really enjoyed this book -- read it in one sitting -- it is that entertaining and that short -- and all it made me want to do was make a casserole and a gelatin salad -- with a dollop of Hellmann's. 

Read it -- you won't regret it.

I Love Picture Books 2015

I love this challenge.  I love childrens books.  I love picture books mostly because I like the art.  This is going to be very easy for me because I babysit my 4 year old granddaughter and we read all the time.  Many of these books come from her stash.

In the last couple of days I have read one of her favorites from the library which is now in her personal library as it was a Christmas gift from us and then one from her parents as a Christmas gift.

The first book that I read was "Anatole" by Eve Titus.

It is the story of a very enterprising mouse with a family to care for and how he did well for himself.  It is an ingenious little plot, a bit different than I have read before, and it was enjoyable.  I recommend.

The second is "High Street" by Alice Melvin.

This is the story of a little girl, Sally, with a shopping list who goes to High Street to make her purchases.  The art work is lovely and each time she gets to a shop on High Street, a page opens so that you can see the inside of the shop.  It is really cute and interactive and there are so many things to see in the shops! This book is quintessentially British and is the third book by British children's author Alice Melvin.  I haven't read the other two but reviews say they are delightful as well. My granddaughter has a British father so she is exposed to lots of British children's literature ("The Gruffalo" comes to mind immediately) which, I feel, accounts for her rather extensive vocabulary and her hybrid accent.  Have you ever heard a British/Texas accent?  She can make "y'all" sound posh.  I digress.

Anyway, if you are in the market for picture books to read for yourself, a child, or to collect, I would recommend these as they are very entertaining, even for the adults.