Monday, April 26, 2004

We went to the New York Aquarium yesterday. Poppy blew kisses at the walrus and made jelly-fish faces, puckering up and blowing her cheeks out. It was so cute, I think she burned my retinas. She also mauled every stuffed toy in the gift shop, leaving with an otter that makes shrieking noises.

She has settled into her terrible twos with aplomb, weeping mercurially. Her tantrums are mercifully short (though I'm not there for most of them. I imagine they seem longer and longer as the day does on). What surprises me is that, as crabby as she can be, she always seems to want to please.

Reading: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling. The new movie is almost out, so of course I must make myself ready. I'm getting a little tired of the formula at the front of the book, where Harry needs to have a reason for a dramatic exit from his grotesque, horse faced, fatty muggle relatives' home. I'm a muggle, after all, and I'm finding all that muggle stereotyping mildly offensive. Otherwise, it's a fine read, although I think the first two built suspense better.

The Bat Poet, by Randall Jarell and illustrated my Maurice Sendak. This is a tender little tragedy about a bat who learns to be a poet and then forgets again. Sort of like Flowers for Algernon, which I apparently always thought was a tragedy for the wrong reason. Really, it's about the struggle we all go through as writers to balance the need for an audience against the need for a place to be. It isn't a book I would give to a child, not because it's awful (I always liked awful books), but because it's maudlin, and I don't remember really enjoying maudlin fiction until junior high, at which point the fuzzy animals might have turned me off.

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