Saturday, January 19, 2019

Excerpt from "Read it and Weep"

For my librarian friends, especially Debbi: "Read it and Weep" by Jenn McKinlay (starting at page 177):

Lindsey sat at the children's desk while Beth ducked out to go visit Kitty. In a way, Lindsey felt as if she were sending Beth into the lion pit with an aluminum sword, but then again, Beth managed thirty hyper toddlers in her story times. Surely she could handle one surly middle-aged woman.
"I want the pumpkin book," a little voice said from behind her.
Lindsey swiveled in her chair to see a little girl wearing a frilly, light-blue dress and sparkly pink shoes standing right behind her. The girl's hair looked windblown, and her red sweater was hanging off one shoulder. She had a spray of freckles running across her nose, round cheeks and enormous blue eyes. SHe looked to be about five years old.
"Well, hello," Lindsey said. "What's your name?"
The girl stared at her, unblinking. Lindsey could tell that this child really didn't give a hoot what her name was. She just wanted her book. Okay, then.
"Do you remember the name of the pumpkin book?" she asked.
"No. It had a big pumpkin on it," Lila said.
Lindsey glanced at the autumn display Beth had put in the corner. The display unit was three shelves; she had decorated it with corn stalks and autumn leaf garlands, and it featured books about leaves changing colors, pumpkin patches and harvests.
"Did you see it on those shelves?" Lindsey asked. "We have lots of books about pumpkins."
"No, not there." Lila shook her head and made an annoyed face that left Lindsey in no doubt that Lila found her lacking in the smarts department.
"I don't suppose you know who wrote it?" Lindsey asked.
Lila just stared at her.
"Do you remember the story?" Lindsey asked. "If you tell me about it, maybe we can find it that way."
"It had a pumpkin and horses on it," Lila said.
"Oh. Was it about a farm?"
Lila glanced at the ceiling as if searching for patience.
"No," she said. Her blue eyes went back to staring at Lindsey as if trying to bend her to her will.
"Okay," Lindsey said. She had to take a deep breath and blow it out slowly so as to keep from using an impatient tone with the kid. "Let's try again. What do you remember about the story in the book?"
"The pumpkin," Lila said.
Lindsey bent forward in her chair until her face was just inches from Lila's, then she returned the girl's stare with equal intensity. They were going to have a mind meld and she was going to find this kid's book if it was the last thing she did.
"What happened to the pumpkin?" Lindsey asked.
"It turns into a carriage that's pulled by the horses," Lila said.
Lindsey sat back and blinked. "That sounds like Cinderella. Was there a princess in the book with a glass shoe?"
"Yes, I think so." Lila blinked and the intense stare ended.
"So, it's Cinderella that you're looking for?" Lindsey asked.

Unfortunately the author lost points with me when she said the Brothers Grimm wrote Cinderella.

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