Ever notice how some people seem to live in the land of “Waiting for When”?
I’ll be happy when I find the perfect partner/coolest job/lose the extra 10 pounds/make more money?
I’m waiting for the perfect time or occasion to use the “good” dishes/wear that dress/write that novel/start my own business/have a baby/tell someone I love them!
It’s normal we all do it to some degree. I have so many things that I haven’t worn just sitting in my closet longing for the right occasion! I personally never got the allure of “good” dishes but I know many who have curios stock full of them and loads of crystal!
There is such a push for perfection in our lives that it’s no wonder we live this way, always for tomorrow or reminiscing about the past, rarely do we stay in the present. The sad thing about that is that there isn’t anything but what is happening right now. The past and the future don’t really exist and focusing too much on either won’t make you feel satisfied and happy.
Only when you enjoy what’s going on in the moment and remain present can you truly feel fulfilled and it’s in the reckless abandonment of living for the moment and enjoying it do you feel a certain level of peace; somehow, someway everything will work out.
Great, thanks for the lesson in enjoying the present, you may say, but what does this have to do with a children’s book? Well, everything!
All I kept thinking about when I read A Bumblebee Sweater by Betty Waterton and illustrated by Kim LaFave (ISBN: 9781554550289, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2008) was that the little girl, Nellie, was not living in the land of “waiting for when”, she was prepared to enjoy life –and her oversized bumble sweater- to the fullest!
(Cover Image Copyright@2008 Kim LaFave)
In this tale, wild-haired Nellie writes a letter to her grandmother telling her about her upcoming role as a bumblebee in the school play. Grandma Needlethorpe gets busy and knits Nellie a wonderful bumblebee sweater for her to wear in the play.
Sure, it’s a little too big but Nellie loves it and wants to wear it every day and everywhere! So it gets a little dirty, that’s what washing machines are for and her mother is using it every night to get rid of the stains little Nellie has managed to rack up in her adventures! Only after one wash, the sweater shrinks and Nellie’s Mom wonders what to do? Luckily things have a way of working out and we get a chuckle!
This book is cute, fun and has a surprising important message: enjoy what you have when you have it because things may change and you might’ve wished you hadn’t waited!
Nellie certainly lives for the moment and really throws herself into everything she does! I love her crazy hair and her positive spirit! I love the energy of the watercolour images and their simple design. In fact, this book has a simplicity that’s really charming.
Waterton is the author of 18 children’s books and her first book, A Salmon for Simon, is a west coast classic! She lives in Sidney, British Columbia but is originally from the ‘Shwa (or Oshawa as known by non-GTAers!) and raised in Winnipeg. She is a seventh-generation Canadian which is an amazing feat considering at least half of the people I know weren’t even born in Canada!
And of course we know Kim LaFave, the Governor Award winning illustrator of a good many wonderful picture books (including Shi-Chi’s Canoe which I adored –did you read my review of this tear-jerker?). He uses traditional mediums (although he has recently begun exploring the digital tools as in Shi-Chi’s Canoe!) He also works as a freelance commercial illustrator for magazines and corporate clients. You can see for yourself on his professional website. He lives in Roberts Creek, British Columbia and interestingly both collaborators both create by the sea! (Lucky them!)
Don’t wait for when, go out and get this book: perfect for a gift to the grandkids or for your favourite knitting grandparent to have on hand to read to the wee ones!