"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

22 September 2010

My Name Is Not Isabella

I came across this beautiful book entitled My Name is Not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry on Pioneer Woman's website a few days ago.

 Before I continue, I encourage you to visit PW's website if you happen to have a lot of spare time on your hands (and it will suck you in - I think she has some kind of blogging superpower).

Anyway, it was just the book I was looking for. Nich and I like to give books as gifts, especially to children. There are so many incredibly written stories out there, and with children's books, they are often beautifully illustrated, too. I took a children's literature class while I was at Houghton as part of my English major, and it was, without a doubt, one of my favorite undergraduate classes. I thoroughly enjoyed the classroom experience, but I also enjoyed the opportunity to learn about and appreciate what makes good children's literature.

I was looking for a book for Kaitlynn -- for her dedication/adoption party -- and when I read the review for this book on PW's website, I knew this was it. I called Barnes and Noble, the nice lady looked it up for me, and they had ONE copy in the store. I asked for her to hold it for me and put it on my list of things to do for the following morning.

Heather Sanders (who wrote the review) does an excellent job lauding the merits of this book, so I'll let you read that here. My only two cents that I wanted to add were why I thought this book was so appropriate for Kaitlynn. The book talks about a little girl who wakes up one morning tells her mom, "My name is not Isabella. I am Sally, the greatest, toughest astronaut who has ever lived." Throughout the day, she goes through several different influential women from history, including Marie Curie, Rosa Parks, Annie Oakley, and Elizabeth Blackwell. Her mom plays along with her, encouraging her in her dreams of being the girl she wants to be.

At the end of the day, her last heroine is "Mommy," and then Isabella becomes herself again, happy to be who she is.

Kaitlynn has a great relationship with Kristy (her mom), so I knew this book would be special for that alone. It is also an informative book, where she'll learn about various women who have made a difference in history. But it's also a book about dreaming, and that's what I wanted for her. I wanted her to remember that this was a day when some of her dreams came true, when she became a part of a family who will love her dearly and teach her about a God who loves her best.

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