Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Skates of Uncle Richard by Carol Fenner & Illus Ati Fomberg

This book is the essence of every childhood daydream. The grandeur the imaginative child can come up with. The crash of reality, and finally, the formation of realistic goals. 

At the beginning of the book--Love this poem! 

Marsha in her dreams--a glorious ice skater

Marsha in reality--a girl with an obsession with watching ice skating on TV

Marsha is pretty sure the only thing standing between and her dream is her lack of white figure skates. With Christmas approaching, she makes sure her mother knows how necessary it is for her to have white figure skates. 

Christmas comes with an ice skate sized box under the tree. The excitement!! But... they are Uncle Richards old skates--the ugliest skates she had ever seen. 

Poof. Her dream is gone. Because no one could dazzle on the ice in ugly skates. 

Finally, a few weeks after Christmas, curiosity gets the better of her and she tries them out. They are less than elegant on her bedroom floor. 

Her brother Leonard finally brings her to the skating pond. He gives her a few brief pointers before skating off with his friends. 

Dreams that die... 

The skates were every bit as awful as they looked. Her ankles were wobbly and it all seemed hopeless. 

Thank goodness for the Uncle Richard's of the world! He skates up and notices his old skates. He ties them on Marsha correctly, making her ankles feel strong. 

Uncle Richard knows a thing or two about skating. 

Suddenly Marsha is skating. Not the flying figure 8's she dreamed of, but the tenative skating of someone just learning. 

The difference between the dream and the reality is a wide gulf of effort. I always breezed over that part in my dreams--one day I would just wake up able to (                ).  Fill in the blank with some enviable talent. 

Marsha, just starting out, trades the dream for the reality. Because sometimes, being able to actually skate is even more incredible than being a skater on TV. 

Push, glide....push, glide. Past her staring brother she skated. Hardly even a wobble. Proud, not stiff. She glided away on the skates of Uncle Richard, taller and taller and taller, never once falling down. 

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