Sunday, September 23, 2007

A tale of two markets

We went to Camberwell market today and scored some great books, including this:

We have Jane Ray's 12 Dancing Princesses and her lovely story Can You Catch a Mermaid? I've been wanting to get a fairy tale collection for Fred. We have a book of Nursery Tales, which is always a pleasure to read. It's amazing how these stories resonate and I know that living with fragmented narratives is part of the postmodern experience but I really want her to know the original stories - she's already encountered many of them in the intertextual universe. I've picked this particular collection up many times in bookshops, but never on a day when I had the money to spend. So good score. Good score indeed. And being blessed with cheapskatery, this very well looked after book is going away for Christmas.

We also bought this blast from the past (and put it away for a rainy day or a trip away):

Fred loves maps and journeys and paths, and she likes pictures with lots of detail so I think this will be a hit on a quiet day or when she needs some alone time if we're camping. I remember Anno from my primary school library, poring over the pictures and putting the narrative together.

And Fred chose this:

Which is one of those simple but incredibly lovely books about a baby with a cold. The illustrations are warm and homely and observant, a mother and her toddler sitting on the floor playing with toys and the cat. The mother is pregnant but this isn't mentioned in the text, which is a nice touch and a simple reflection of life for many toddlers.

There were others: Angelina and the Princess, a Lucy Cousins sticker book (with all the stickers miraculously intact - another one for a day away) and the Ahlberg's Baby's Catalogue for $1.

Last week we went to the much quieter Coburg market. It's a quite daggy trash and treasure market at the village drive-in. It's dead cheap and there's a lot of trash and only a little treasure. But it's a great family day out. At Camberwell we have to keep Fred at arm reach because it's so crowded which is a bit hard when she wants to dance in the middle of a temporarily vacated space or march along singing 'la la la I love you' at the top of her voice or whizz away to paw through a basket of toys. But at Coburg, which is much smaller and less intensely populated, I don't get that fluttery panicky feeling if I lose sight of her for a few seconds. Which means I can actually, you know, look at stuff. Last week, for the first time really, we raided Fred's piggybank and gave her pocketmoney to spend as she wished. This is what she chose (for 50c).

We also discovered Feral Baby's long lost twin sister. She's been welcomed into the fold.


  1. Anonymous8:30 PM

    lordy fred looks like you in that pic! (well, you with yer pot of ABBA makeup, anyways).

    I've managed to convince w that the people (ads on tv) who want her to buy a my little pony in a backpack want to steal her money and not give it back.

  2. If you want a fairytale that's a little different try

    The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch.


    Into the Forest by Anthony Browne.

    Though both might be best for older children - especially the 2nd one which is an amazing book BUT might be scary for some.

  3. when i was much smaller than i am now, Angelina and the Princess was





    (i reckon it's still in the top ten)

  4. Thanks for the recommendations, enigmatically named m. I've heard of but not read The Paper Bag Princess. I love Anthony Browne so I'll definitely look that one up. Fred's got a stout heart for scary books, but I'll vet it first.

    Zose, that's an excellent grounding in consumer society. Or is teaching her to love her money beyond all else. She'll be the one sitting in the corner saying 'my precious' handling her gold coins. Una is fond of money. One of the first things she said was 'I want money.' Seriously.

    Lili, we didn't get a chance to read it tonight, hmm...maybe I'll go read it now, before bed. I was going to say Angelina was before my time, but the first book was published in '82, when I was seven, so not really. I just didn't come across her till I had babbies.
    Una loved the baby catalogue. It has longevity in the 'what's that?' factor.