A few moons ago here on the ol' blog I believe I prattled on about a visit from my long lost babysittee, Antonia. I was a nanny for her and her little brother like, uh... a long damn time ago. I guess I was 19 when I moved in with them, gee whiz. And she was a little spit fire, that one, she was so much fun. She was more like a fun little sister than a charge, and I didn't get to see her nearly enough, as she spent half the week with her dad. I was mainly there to hang with two year old Kilian, who was quite a fun little lad, himself.
The parents were a little heavy on the teevee, though, and I took it upon myself to amend their (teensy tiny) library because it was me, after all, who was doing most of the reading to the book-starved young 'un (not Antonia, she was 11 and an avid reader.) This book, Stay Up Late, was a book I bought for him. It totally blew me away when I saw it, and of course the song just can't be beat. Of course Maira Kalman is well known now, with her Max books and Elements of Style and 'New Yorkistan' New Yorker cover.... but gee, back then, what an excellent find! And lo these many years gone by and this book long out of print... and I have thought many many times that I wished I could hold the book in my hot little hands once again, I did love it so... and I told Tonia this, when she visited.... and what do you think she's gone and did?? This amazing person... now a totally advanced and full grown person... found the book and sent it to me!! I know, you're thinking, in this day and age, can't you just find the book for pennies used somewhere, but it has not been like that... this is a really truly out of print and hard to find book that is super cool and now I get to share it with my kids. That Tonia, what a whippersnapper!! What a peach! What a pearl! Just LOVE that girl, I gotta say! I completely busted up crying when I opened it. You know what a bookhead I am, and this one meant a lot to me, and that someone went and sought it out for me.... well, shucks.
She also sent Chicken Soup, Boots which we all read and cracked up all the way through... I'm feeling profoundly blessed, with my new Maira Kalman treasures, and otherwise. Tonia, you are such a beautiful and kind and creative and cool person, I am SO lucky to know you (and really thankful to facebook, I have to say, that I get to know you a little better!)