Tuesday, February 2, 2016

First Tomato by Rosemary Wells

This is the story of Claire, an adorable bunny who is tired of snow, cold, and school and longs to be in the garden, tasting the ruby red sunshine of the first tomato. While waiting for the bus, after an exhausting day Claire takes a trip to the Bunny Planet.  

The Bunny Planet is where The Day That Should Have Been lives. 

This is one of Elsie's precious little books. Last year she carried this book around almost continuously for two months. We read it over and over. Which was okay, since before Elsie liked it, I loved it. (I actually censor my kids reading quite a lot. Censor as in, if I think it is a dumb book, I don't buy it. So there aren't a lot of books hanging around that I don't like.) 

The morning starts all wrong. Claire's cereal spills, her shoes fill with snow.

Oh, I remember this feeling--bored/confused/tired of school. 

After missing her bus in the afternoon, Claire sits in the cold, waiting for another bus. 

It was a hard day.  

As she sits in the cold, the bunny queen swoops down and takes her to the Bunny Planet.

"Far beyond the moon and stars, 
Twenty light years south of Mars, 
Spins the gentle Bunny Planet.
And the Bunny Queen is Janet."

"Here's the day that should have been."

Her mother sends her to the garden in her old, old clothes to pick a tomato for her.

I love Claire, reveling in the dirt, the tomato-y smells, the warmth. 

I love Claire. 

Although Claire really, really wants to take the first tomato for herself, she brings it to her mother. And her mother makes her "first tomato soup because I love you so."

We all have days when we need a visit to the Bunny Planet. And as Claire sees, "It was there all along!" Each person's Bunny Planet looks different. But it is there. Ready to be escaped to when we feel like giving up. 

At least for those with vivid enough imagination. 

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