LITERARY WINTER - Stories as unique as snowflakes
The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment
January 5, 2019
I love winter. A roaring fire in the fireplace, a cozy blanket on the couch, a good book to sink into. Winter days seem perfect for reading books saved throughout the busy year, or finding a book so totally unexpected it carries you away from everyday into a totally new space in your head and heart. For this winter Loop TALE, I felt it quite apropos to turn towards winter tales ...
Did you know that among a multitude of writers focusing on winter tales, Shakespeare was an early contender? Performed in 1611 and printed in a collection of Shakespearean plays in 1623, a very brutal and psychological first two acts of "The Winter's Tale" ends with a comedic twist in Act 3. Shakespeare, for all his glorious serious words, had a very twisted sense of humor!
Perhaps for a lighter read, turn to Mark Helprin's "Winter's Tale." A mix of fantasy and magic, earning the belief in something beyond human limitations, this story portrays a love that breaks boundaries. It is both heartrending and glorious. And there is a white horse. White horses can be harbingers of deep messages, and this white horse does not disappoint. I think you will find both an anti-hero and a hero within the story (who may be the same person) and yes I am smiling a little bit here. I do adore teasers. Just download, buy or check out this book at a library. Then snuggle up and enjoy an afternoon away from your everyday worries. After you finish reading, put on the film and enjoy seeing true love come to life before your eyes. It's magical!
For even lighter fare, young and old may enjoy Robert Sabuda's "Winter Tale." This book must be bought and held to enjoy the fascinating and beautiful pop up paper art creations, along with simple and perfect text. A real treat.
And while winter is ramping up, I believe thinking a bit about snowflakes is in order. A winner of the Caldecott Award for it's illustrations by Mary Azarian, Jacqueline Briggs Martin's "Snowflake Bentley" is not only a great children's book, but a fascinating history lesson for any age.
We have excellent technology today, but a farmer's son in Vermont during the late 1800s, William Bentley, managed the first photographs of single snowflakes. Capturing intricate and varied patterns of frozen flakes under a high powered microscope was no small feat as snowflakes are not known for longevity or vitality under the best of circumstances. Bentley brought the viewer into the heart of the microscope and made their very eyes the magnifier, sharing photographs eventually used by universities across the country.
Looking closely at snowflakes, frozen water woven by nature's hand, does help us believe in both science and if inclined, magic, and the wonders around us. Let "Snowflake Bentley" draw you in. Did you know before this that no two snowflakes are alike? They are like fingerprints in the snow!
I'm off to make hot chocolate. Brrr! Until next time...
*Note that Midge Lyn'dee is a fictional character for the purpose of entertainment, though the reviews are real and sincere.