Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dribble to the sea

I reckon about 3% of blogs (possibly more; there may have been a recent explosion) are concerned with people reviewing the books they've read. Today it's (sort of) time for me to enter the fray. But first some preamble:

Dribble to the seaI love to see footballs floating down the Thames. Clearly, some little kid upstream would have been at least a little upset at losing it (unless they were Rod Stewart's son or something, which would be pretty cool as he would probably fill the entire estate with footballs just in case you kicked one in the river. That's the kind of thoughtful thing Rod does.) but if these children, distraught though they must be, were to consider for one second that their ball is on its way to the sea (!) it might inspire a sense of wonderment, and repress those football related suicidal urges.

Was that overly damatic? No? Thought not.

Also, they should know that every time somebody notices the ball floating by they think of the child that lost it. Myself, I like to cackle evilly at thir misfortune, but I know for a fact that others emit a simple 'Ohhhh' of empathy.

Through that lost football you are touching the souls of thousands.

Which brings me on to the book, called Paddle-to-the-Sea. My Auntie Eirlys (who called herself Jane as no one English could pronounce her name (which means snowdrop), and who emigrated to Canada in the early 70's) bought it as a present for my brother one Christmas. I was eternally jealous as I loved the book, and I think always will have fond memories of it.

The book starts in the thawing snow of Nippon country in the wilds of Canada, where an Indian boy has carved a little wooden canoe with a little wooden man sitting in it. On the bottom (of the boat, not the man) is carved the statement (or something like it):

'I am Paddle-to-the-Sea. Please help me on my way.'
The jist of the story is that the boat gets swept away with the thawing snow, and gradually journeys through the Great Lakes, and then along the St. Lawrence River and out to sea. On its journey various people find it and repair it, and lots of animals snuffle at it.

It's a great children's story, full of evocative illustrations. Perhaps I should write a British, football related version. With the ball getting hassled by water voles and having cans of Tennents chucked at it by tramps. And then passing through the grandeur of London. Yes Yes Yes! It'll be a children's classic. There'll be a film adaptation; Kevin Spacey will star as the ball. Audrey Tatou will make a cameo appearance as a French human statue who is longingly reminded of her past love with Zinedine Zidane as the ball bobbles past.

It won't have Rod Stewart in it though. Football hoarding bastard.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Thanks for bringing back memories of that book, I loved it too. A Eirlys was always buying fantastic xmas pressies, I think I always looked forward to hers morethan anything each year because I knew it would be something interesting.

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