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The Perfect Book
on November 11, 2004
My brother was given this book almost 35 years ago. I shamelessly filched it. Since then I have surely read tens of thousands of books. But I can say with utmost confidence that this book is the best, the most perfect, the MOST WONDERFUL book ever written. I have read it to my own children and to their school classes in their turn. It withstands the ongoing test of time and variety of children. It lives in tape-bound glory in an honored spot on the bookshelf. At night you can see a faint halo.
So what makes this the perfect book? Firstly, it flawlessly follows the immutable Fairy Tale Law of Three giving it that well-grounded solidity found in generations of three aspirants/sisters/brothers/ogres/bears/billy goats gruff, three encounters, three days, three chances, etc. Secondly, it is a rich and engaging story without being wordy or trendy. But thirdly, there's the sense of rightness, of contentment at the state of a well-run world, the desire to go whisking off to that happy kingdom as the last page is regretfully turned. Also, there's pie.
(After wondering for years what a Pickle Chiffon Pie actually tastes like and being prodded by questions from my own children, I conducted extensive research. I found that Pickle Chiffon Pie tastes mysteriously JUST LIKE a green-tinted lemon meringue pie. My children, their classmates, and I were pleased.)