|The Proud Rose|
When I was a child many storybooks sought to teach lessons as much as to entertain, instilling values of courtesy and consideration in a gentle way. This little book with its exquisite illustrations is one of my favourites. (Unfortunately the cover is a bit damaged but inside the book is perfect.)
The book was published by Piccoli of Milan in 1957.
Written by Jolanda Colombini and illustrated by Mariapia.
By today's standards there is quite a lot of text - a page and a bit of writing for every illustration. But the illustrations are self explanatory in themselves and (with a short summary by me) tell the story beautifully:
At the start of the season the Queen of Summer decides to hold a grand ball. A prize will be presented to the loveliest flower attending. Nightingale is sent to spread the news . . .
The flowers get ready, each making sure she looks her best . . .
There is great excitement as the flowers make their way to the ball (the empty sign must have been too great a temptation for me - learning how to write my name!) . . .
Rose travels alone. She is confident of being the most beautiful in the land. The woodland folk endorse her view. . .
All the dignitaries assemble, waiting for the queen and the flowers to arrive. Even the press are there . . .
The queen arrives on a lily pad drawn by two swans. (I can remember that I loved the way the butterflies held up her train) . . .
Rose rushes to be noticed by the queen, pushing timid little Daisy out of the way. She is sure the queen will announce her the winner. . .
Instead the queen admonishes her, telling Rose that beauty only has value when accompanied by a kind heart. To be really beautiful you must know when to say a kind word or do a kind deed. Sweet little Daisy is awarded the prize of a golden leaf instead . . .
Of course no-one stays unhappy for long. By the time the fire-flies light their way home Rose and all the other flowers are good friends!
A Glamorous 'Chicken'
Sometimes pheasants wander into our garden from the adjoining fields. My husband joking calls them 'good looking chickens'. They appear to be quite tame - after walking around a bit and finding things to eat they saunter off again!
After the most dismal summer we are suddenly enjoying the most glorious weather. This afternoon we ate lunch outside and I was able to make a lovely salad (while the 'boys' BBQ'd), sourced predominantly from the garden - salad leaves, tomatoes, little onions, mushrooms grown locally and blackberries. The only 'exotics' I added were a few grapes, some avocado (and a bit of cheddar cheese which my son likes).
When we eat outdoors I always like to make another staple from my 60's childhood - stuffed eggs!.