Tuesday, October 8, 2013

When I Was Young in the Mountains

I found this most beautiful book...the story by Cynthia Rylant.
You know that feeling when you pick up a book and it speaks to you...
Maybe the title, but this time it was the illustrations.

This is the dedication page. 

photos property of E.P. Dutton, New York
  I wrote a note to the artist Diane Goode,
I was so moved by her art.

"I found the amazingly beautiful book you illustrated,
When I Was Young in the Mountains.
The dedication page may be my favorite,
Charming and cozy, just as I imagine Grandma's
house to be, if she lived in the mountains."

It's a children's story for all ages. It's a story is of the simple life, the love of family
and the special life shared in the mountains.

In the story the author Cynthia describes the grandpa as being covered with
"the black dust of a coal mine."
Only his lips were clean, and he would kiss her on the top
of her head.

I wrote, "I am a coal miners grand daughter, but never
had the chance to meet him.
I'd like to think, if I had, I'd get a kiss from his clean lips, sigh..."

Within minutes I received a thank you from the artist herself!
Diane wrote, "...the coal miner in that illustration was inspired by
my grandfather and also for the love I have for my son,
who was only three years old at the time. "
She talked about where she lived as she illustrated the
book..."so I was familiar with coal mining towns but used my own family
as the emotional inspiration...after all,
love is universal."
She closed saying that Cynthia Rylant is a true poet,
and that without her words, there would have been no images to paint.

My favorite line of her note said "Like you, I'd love to get a
kiss from him (Grandpa) again."
Diane Goode is an amazing artist and a wonderful and kind person. 
If you love a great book, no matter your age, this one is special.
(I tried to email the author, but will have to snail mail my regards.)
I want to reach out and acknowledge the beautiful things in life,
the things that make life so incredible. You know, "accentuate the positive,
eliminate the negative." Thus the note to this talented artist.

The weather is so perfect these last two days, it was all I could do not to dance on my walk.
Only when I walk alone I walk with music. It's not as special as my walks with my dearest,
but my heart swells with the music and I feel like Julie Andrews on that mountain in the
Sound of Music.  This world is amazing, and I am grateful, as always!

Enjoy this beautiful day.

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Melanie said...

What a beautiful book! How sweet of you to email the artist and how awesome that she emailed you back right away! I agree that today is simply gorgeous...enjoy!

Lynne said...

Beautiful book and right through to the personal note. The kiss on the head . . . ahhhhhh . .

suzan c said...

I read this book to my First Grade class every Fall. Suzan