BRK recently created a new, nested, hybrid book — Sleeping Beauty stuffed inside Pete’s Dragon stuffed inside Cinderella. This gives new meaning to reading “one book”, as one book now contains three.
She takes great care to stuff them inside each other at exactly the same spot, so that we read up to the mean step-sisters tearing apart Cinderella’s version 1.0 ball gown, then on to Nora buying Pete a new set of clothes while Elliot the Dragon looks on approvingly, and then the entirety of Sleeping Beauty before continuing back to Pete and Elliot, and concluding with Cinderella.
Throughout this adventure in reading, BRK has lots of questions. I oscillate from delighting in her curiosity to cringing at yet another pause on our march through 68 pages before The Battle of Tooth Brushing.
Here’s a sample, with my reactions underneath:
(Sleeping Beauty): How did the three fairies rush to rescue Prince Phillip?
Great question. Did they run? Fly? But since they are fairies can’t they just dissolve and then reappear anyplace they want?
(Cinderella): Where’s the hush? (in reference to “Suddenly, a hush fell over the garden, and a cloud of lights began to twinkle and glow around Cinderella’s head.”)
How do you explain “a hush fell” to a 3 year-old?
(Pete’s Dragon): Is the teacher nice?
Hmm, I want her to think of teachers as nice. But this illustrator seems to have not.
(Pete’s Dragon): How is the Gogan family mean to Pete?
Because they make him do all the work and yell at him. Oh no, sometimes I yell.
And then the questions take a turn toward fact-checking, toward identifying inconsistencies.
(Cinderella): Why did she have the glass slipper?
GREAT QUESTION. YES. Why, when the spell broke at midnight, did everything turn back to its sorry state except for the glass slippers? I have no good answer, but something smells fishy.
(Cinderella, again): Why did the spell break at midnight?
YES. WHY? If you are a fairy godmother, and you can turn a pumpkin into a coach, mice into horses, and a dog into a footman, why on earth does your spell expire at midnight?
If you have the power to perform magical spells, why do you have random limitations like the spell breaks at midnight? Or in the case of Sleeping Beauty, a deep sleep instead of a nonfatal spindle prick? It would make of an incredibly boring story, but still . . . BRK is onto something here.