Friday, August 10, 2012

Charlotte Jane Battles Bedtime by Myra Wolfe

Charlotte Jane Battles Bedtime by Myra Wolfe, illustrated by Maria Monescillo

Rating: 5 stars

Charotte Jane and I have a lot in common, I think.  Both of us were born with "oomph," as Myra Wolfe wittily puts it.  She relishes swashbuckling sessions, treasure hunts, and Fantastic Feats of Daring.  I relish Crossfit workouts, dance parties with my trio, and Fantastic Foods I Prepare.  We both "get all the juice" from our days.

Unlike me, Charlotte Jane doesn't like bedtime.  She stays up later and later and later until finally--victory!--she stays up.  All.  Night.  Long.  (I do have occasional bouts of insomnia, but I do not whisper "victory" like she does.  Instead I work on this blog or other writing projects.)

The next day, Charlotte Jane can't find her "oomph."  She was too tired to do all the stuff that she normally likes to do, too sleepy to participate with her usual chutzpah.  Her parents are alarmed and hunt for her "oomph" as if it is something to be picked up, dusted off, and replaced.  This is where Charlotte Jane and I are one again--I sorta feel like I've lost my "oomph."  I'd very much like to have it picked up, dusted off, and replaced.  Has anyone seen it?  I know my parents would gladly search in the neighbor's recycling bin or up in the old oak tree for my "oomph," just as Charlotte Jane's pirate parents do.

Finally, Charlotte Jane herself finds it.  In the form of her soft feather bed.  She decides that sleep is for landlubbers, but dreams...her "hearty dreams"...were worth sleeping for.

This is a great book.  I love how the main character is a headstrong little girl (I'm rereading Caddie Woodlawn, which makes me even more aware of great female roles in books), I love how she's a swashbuckling pirate, and I love how she solves her own problem.  I'm trying to solve my own missing-"oomph" problem.  Perhaps a week at the beach with my family will help.  I'll keep my eyes on the horizon for some pirates such as these.

The only downside to this gem of a book: how to explain what "oomph" means to your 3 and 5 year old...

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