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reading tiger

Reading Wednesday

Les Mis progress:

618 / 755 (81.85%)

Our digression du jour was about the 1848 revolution, which Hugo disapproves of. Told you he was a liberal. Shortly thereafter Jean Valjean joins the barricades and donates his stolen National Guard uniform to the cause (in this case, the cause of letting family men not get themselves shot). Marius vouches for him. More rousing speeches soon to follow. Eventually we'll get to the shooting, I'm sure.

Eponine kicked it last week, I think, and I am still grumpy about it. This is the Jealousy Section, isn't it? Eponine's jealousy gets the better of her and she dies. Valjean struggles manfully with his jealousy and he gets to live to the end of the book. Oh, Hugo.

In other reading this week, Dangerously Ever After by Dashka Slater is one of the bestest children's books I've read in a while. First of all, it is so very well-written on a sentence level -- a delight to read aloud, not too complicated and not too plain, with a real sense of mouth-feel. (I have always wanted to use that term in reference to poetry rather than food. Close enough this time.)

Second of all, I was worried that this would just be a "princess reversal" tale, with assertive and daring Princess Amanita (insert name glee squee here) being 100% Spunky Tomboy or Perky Pigtailed Princess all the way through. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, when done well; see Princeless. But Princeless sets a high bar.) But the actual story is much more clever than that; Princess Amanita likes dangerous things in a totally gothlet way, but it turns out she likes dangerous things best when she's at home and in control of them. Nonetheless, she perserveres in her chosen adventure and we don't actually end with a heterosexual pair-up at the end, exactly, although parents and kids can assume one if they want. Or not.

TL,DR: I would read this to my kids every night. And that's saying a lot.

P.S. The scorpion hairdos that illustrator Valerie Docampo provides our princess are hilarious and possibly worth the price of admission alone.