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  • Writer's pictureClover

Love's in the Air

Updated: 17 hours ago

Clover is one lucky bee. On her flyovers, this ardent observer frequently sees families and friends gathering to mark wonderous occasions. Special holidays, graduations and weddings are the ticket in May and June, and “Love is in the Air” as congratulations are offered, cakes are cut and hugs are shared in an unending chain of affection.

To celebrate the warmth Clover sees on display, she’s chosen three books that center on the bonds that love provide, an offering we often overlook, or take for granted, in our harried day-to-day lives.

Page On!

The Community Literacy Foundation, in partnership with Neighborhood Reads and with support from its sponsors, provides these books to 40 school and public libraries in Washington, Union, Pacific, St. Clair and surrounding communities.

Youngest Read

“With Dad” celebrates the bond a father and son share on a years-ago camping trip in Michigan. This beauty, in muted tones depicting the book’s natural surroundings, is illustrated by Brian Floca and came to life after the death of its author Richard Jackson. The talented pair worked together to make books for more than 25 years.

The story begins with a young boy and his father puttering along a country road to reach the Au Sable River. The boy drives the family’s red jeep, as he sits on his father’s lap, eyes totally focused and peering ahead in concentration.

The pair find a “… magical place called a campsite” and set to putting up their tent and laying rocks to build a fire pit. That done, it’s time to ready their cane poles and cast their lines in hopes of snaring trout for supper.

Initially, only the father has luck, and the boy’s face is awash in disappointment until a page turn shows his elation as a brown speckled trout leaps in the air, lure in its mouth—dad in the background waving his hat in joy.

More adventures await in the woods for the father and son in a touching book that celebrates the simple times of yesteryear, and the love felt when good times are shared, creating memories to last a lifetime.

Middle Read

Wanting to give her daughters a special treasure, author Cleo Wade composed a poem for them, which eventually evolved into “May You Love and Be Loved: Wishes for Your Life.”

This beauty is all about embracing goodness and having experiences made even more rewarding when laced with love—a love that spawns an appreciation of the world—a love that makes forgiveness possible—a love that helps a person “… be someone you love.”

Accepting ourselves is a form of self-love. Often, we are our worst enemies, finding fault with our appearance, forgetting that our bodies, no matter what shape or size, deserve to be, just the way they are.

Our feet often feel the beat. A love of music gets our feet tapping, so Wade’s wish is for “… nights you stay up too late because the music was too good to go home early.”

Happiness isn’t always found only in our backyards, so get out and explore, Wade suggests, visit faraway places you might embrace. And when you meet different people from different places “treat (these people) as next-door neighbors.” In the process “… your experiences change you and allow you to change the world.”

One positive wanna-be from Wade follows another on pages adorned with simple sketches, each accompanied by a powerful message, like this wise wish, “May you know fear but not be driven by it.”

It’s a given this book was a labor of love for an author who has penned a poem certain to make us stop and think.

Oldest Read

Emma Phineas Wilkey is quite a long name for the kind-hearted little girl in Kate DiCamillo’s newest offering for adoring fans. No one knows Emma by anything but her nickname, “Ferris” the title of the book she stars in—and she is a star, a simple, world and word-wise, individual who’s good to the core. Ferris got her nickname because she was born, quite unexpectedly, beneath a Ferris Wheel at a local fair, her beloved grandmother “catching her.”

Ferris has always known love, the unending devotion of her parents and grandmother Charisse, an elderly, failing matriarch who lives with the Wilkeys. No one in the family is as wise and accepting as Charisse. Lately, in her advancing years, she claims she’s seeing and hearing a ghost, a phenomenon that sets in motion a plan Ferris and her best friend Billy Jackson, put into motion.

In this enchanting book expect to meet a cast of creative characters that could only have sprung from the imagination of DiCamillo. Readers of all ages will delight in the antics of Ferris’ little sister Pinkey, a sassy spitfire who pulls one stunt after another, trying the patience of the Wilkeys, a family anyone would be happy to call their own.

Deep affection and life lessons play out on the pages of “Ferris,” a philosophical read laced with humor and references to music, the work of great writers and lots of definitions stirred into the mix, for good measure.

Written by Chris Stuckenschneider.

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