Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Books on Location

This past weekend I was up in New York with my girls. Molly and I packed a bag of books because we had a plan to visit a bunch of places that are connected to books we have read together. I posted pictures over the weekend to Instagram and Facebook and someone asked if we walk around with a library and just whip out a book and take a picture? 

Not exactly.

Books on Location all started last summer when Molly and I were reading From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It was all Molly's idea. The story is about a sister and brother that run away and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a few weeks. Molly wanted to go visit the museum and see the things that were mentioned in the book. I did a little research, and over the years, many people have done the same thing to the point that the museum actually made a guide of the museum for kids based off of the book. We went in September of 2013 and had a great day exploring all the things that Molly and I had read about.

Then December came, and we always go to NY for Christmas. Every year, we pick a day to go into the city, we see the tree, pick a few fun things to do, and just enjoy the day together. Molly and I happen to be reading The Cricket in Times Square and I said to her we should bring the book and take a picture with it in Times Square. 

And there you have it. It was the beginning of Books on Location. We don't pick which books we will read based off of whether we can take a picture somewhere, but we have had fun with it this past year.

After reading Escape From Mr. Lemoncelllo's Library, Molly got her own library card. 

During spring break, we drove down to Florida. We had finished reading Because of Winn-Dixie and used google map to find one somewhere in Alabama to get our picture.

In May, Molly and I were in NY because her dance troupe performed on the Intrepid for Fleet Week. We packed a couple of books to take our pictures, The Wizard of Oz in front of Wicked which we had seen a few years ago and Matilda, one of our favorite books and musicals.

But when we finished reading The Wizard of Oz, we also made a trip into DC for the day to see the ruby slippers at the Smithsonian…even though we both now know that the shoes were not ruby in the book.

Notice the shirt she is standing next to in the gift shop…and then notice the shirt she is wearing in the next picture…I'm a softy.

After we walked around the museum for about an hour, we ventured out to the mall. I knew there was a carousel there, and yes we both know that Mary Poppins takes place in London and is actually one of the places that Molly would LOVE to go visit someday, but we settled for a picture by the carousel. There is a carousel scene in a park in the book.

After the carousel ride, we walked down to the White House. Molly and I read When Audrey Met Alice. Audrey's mother is the president and she lives in the White House. She is snooping around one night and finds Alice Roosevelt's diary hidden in the floor boards in a closet. Alice is the oldest of Teddy Roosevelt's kids. The books goes back and forth between present day with Audrey to the past with Alice. Molly and I just fell in love with Alice's spirit. She really was quite the character.

Well, after reading When Audrey Met Alice, we had to make a trip to Teddy Roosevelt's house that just happens to be about half an hour away from my mom's house. This was Alice's house before her father became president. We couldn't go into the house because of renovations, but it is in such a pretty spot and we walked around the grounds, went into the museum, and then walked the nature trail to the bay. 

Then on Sunday, we went into the city. We had it all planned out and our books were in a backpack. 

First stop, the Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park.

We really had the perfect day, sun was shining, it wasn't too hot or too cold, and Molly was just so excited to spend the morning in the park.

Next stop, the Hans Christian Andersen statue. Molly and I have read a few of his stories. It all started because of the movie Frozen, which is loosely, and I mean loosely, based on his story The Snow Queen. Then we read a few more of his stories and then of course I had to buy the movie, Hans Christian Andersen, with Danny Kaye. Molly has watched it a number of times.

Molly and I haven't read Nightingale's Nest yet. It's a new book and it's on our summer reading list. It is based off of Han Christian Andersen's The Nightingale.

Our last stop in Central Park was to find a place where we thought there should be a statue for James and the Giant Peach.

And as for the enormous peach stone - it was set up permanently in a place of honor in Central Park and became a famous monument. It was also a famous house. And inside the famous house there lives a famous person- 
James Henry Trotter
Every day of the week, hundreds and hundreds of children from far and near came pouring into the City to see the marvelous peach stone in the Park. 

There really should be a peach stone in Central Park. Molly and I are going to have to write a letter to someone about this.

After all our Central Park visits, we took a cab to Times Square. The book we are reading right now, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When we were in the city a couple of weeks ago for her dance performance, we saw the Wonka section in Toys r Us and knew we would be back with the book.

Our last stop on Saturday was to see Matilda, again. A show based on a book about a girl that loves to read books. Molly knows every lyric to every song, and can sing them with the British accent. Not only is it a great show, it has a great message.

It's about when you think life's not fair, you don't have to sit around and just take it. Do something about it! You are in control of your own story, you get to decide what your story is going to be about. Isn't that great message for little girls, really for us all?

Matilda's mom

Matilda's brother

Matilda's Dad

It reminds me of this saying…

Where will our reading take us next. Well, I'm not sure. We read Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume and it takes place in Tarrytown, NY, right near Sleepy Hollow. Washington Irving's house is there, author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. We read Double Fudge by Judy Blume and Fudge and his family visit the National Zoo in Washington DC.

Or this is the pond from Stuart Little. We might just have to read that before our next New York City trip.

So many books to read, so many places to visit.