Simply The Best

A trip to the bookstore with my granddaughter is always a big production.  She peruses the aisles for hours, touching the books, running her hands over the covers, picking them up, putting them back, looking at a few pages here and looking at a few pages there.

I never realized the full importance my five-year-old Grand Angel placed on these excursions, until the day I suggested she pick the book she liked best, so we could get on home for dinner. Her response was remarkable.

"But Grammy, I like them all the best. All the covers are bee-yoo-tiful and all the pictures are bee-yoo-tiful AND they're all different. Just like people. Remember when you told me about people?"

I most certainly remembered when I 'told her about people'. I had explained that we are all beautiful in our own different way. Each of us has a story to tell and no two stories are the same. We learn by sharing our stories and listening to the stories of others. Difference is the thing that makes each and every one of us special.

I had no idea she'd equated the lesson with books. What a wondrous revelation!

A good head and shoulders taller than the bookshelves in the children's section of the store, I looked out over the sea of multi-shaped, multi-weighted, multi-colored books, with their multitude of content, and the accuracy of the equation shot straight through me.

It was perfect.

No one book was better than any other book. They were equally beautiful and equally special.

With dinner still waiting and our stomachs beginning to growl, decision time was finally at hand. But how to choose?

I hit on the right question when I asked, "Which book wants to go home the most with you today?"

After a short moment of deliberation, her eyes lit up. She ran to a specific book and removed it from its place on the shelf.

The deciding factor was the picture on the cover, a turtle with sad eyes. "We need to find out why the turtle's eyes are sad."

Later, snuggled deep in the covers of her bed, that's exactly what we did.

[ by: Terri McPherson, © 2000 ( -- from 'Aiken Drum' ( ]


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