by Janell Cannon
1993, Harcourt Children's Books
Paperback by Scholastic
I missed storytime three nights in a row, thanks to a business trip to the East Coast, then returned home to a heatwave that left the house unbearable.
So Rosie and I spent this evening out back in the kiddie pool -- she immersed in the hose-cold water that she happily poured from cup to bucket; me dipping my feet from the edge of a lounge chair, sipping chilled chardonnay and making up for lost time admiring my daughter: her small hands, the lovely curve of her neck.
To absolve for my recent absence, I allowed for extra bedtime reading, and didn't protest when Rosie added "Stellaluna" to tonight's book pile. I knew her focus would drift during its 46 pages -- to lock in on this one, she'll need to be either a little older or a lot less sleepy.
Still, Rosie enjoys repeating the title, and the story fit my own mood. I can't help feeling a protective surge on behalf of the vulnerable heroine, an earnest baby bat who struggles to fit in with a nest of birds.
And I relate fiercely to her mother's devotion:
"In a warm and sultry forest far, far away, there once lived
a mother fruit bat and her new baby.
Oh, how Mother Bat loved her soft tiny baby. "I'll
name you Stellaluna," she crooned.
Each night, Mother Bat would carry Stellaluna
clutched to her breast as she flew out in search for food....