About Me

My name is Genevieve Woods and in addition to being the mother of an adorable preschooler named Oscar and his adorable toddler brother Henry, I am the Children's Buyer at Spellbinder Books, a small independent bookstore in Bishop, California. I am often asked by customers for recommendations...and thus the idea for this blog was sparked.

Many sites recommending books for kids are created by librarians and non-profits. While these are great sites, they often recommend out-of-print books. This site is all about the great books that are available now! While I am not being paid for these recommendations, I would appreciate it if readers would purchase the books I recommend from local independent bookstores, or even B&N. Basically don't buy from the evil empire (A_A_O_), because if you do much of our literary knowledge will be lost.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Adios Oscar!!!

Last week, while working in the bookstore I found myself missing Oscar (my 4-month-old son) so I decided to look up books with his name in the title. There was lots on Oscar Wilde of course, but as I already have his fairytales, I let those go by. One book that I didn't pass up was Adios Oscar by Peter Elwell.

Oscar is a caterpillar who lives in a flower pot. One day a butterfly named Bob stops in on his way to Mexico. Bob has beautiful wings, and he tells Oscar that one day Oscar will have wings as well, and can fly to Mexico too. Oscar tells his caterpillar friends, who scoff at the idea, but Oscar prepares for his future life in Mexico by hanging out at the library and learning Spanish. Finally he builds a cocoon and goes to sleep - but when he wakes up, he's a moth.

Oscar's friends are having a great time flying around a light bulb for no reason, but Oscar gets bummed out ordering socks in Spanish. He gets a note from his library friend Edna that tells him to think like a butterfly, and Oscar does just that. He ignores the call of the moon and flies to MEXICO!

Some have said that my Oscar physically resembles the Oscar caterpillar illustrations in the book - I'm not sure how I feel about that - but I do love the idea of teaching my Oscar to think like a butterfly, and fly where he chooses. It is kinda like a Hans Christian Anderson tale in reverse - you can ignore the rules of nature and still be happy. Of course the Disney version of Hans Christian Anderson tales all end up happy, but well, they sure weren't written that way. With Adios Oscar, no meaning has been subverted for commercial gain - it is simply a cute fable that allows kids to follow their dreams. There is no lie that Oscar will become a butterfly, he won't, but he can think like one, and he can fly to Mexico just as they do. As a former traveller myself, this seems a grand idea.

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