Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Week 40: On Sammy's Street

   The book-of-the-week for Week 40 is a small accordion book titled On Sammy's Street. The cover paper was hand-marbled and the title plate was handwritten with Sharpie® marker and colored with watercolor pencils. A yellow satin ribbon wraps the tall, thin 9 by 3-inch book and ties with a bow at the midline.

The front cover board and a satin  ribbon

Open the covers and see a folded, single-page map inside.

Inside  the covers is a black and white lithograph print of a map, hand colored with watercolor pencils  and with text handwritten with Sharpie® marker. The story is centered on a 16-month-old's memories of his small world of four streets, a golf course, and a park.

a bird's eye view of the route to the park...

a close up of the map and it's story

   Neighborhoods are geographical areas that are essential to people's lives. Everyday life occurs in neighborhoods. Routines, comfort, and a sense of identity are all integral parts of neighborhoods. When a child is very young, the neighborhood is practically their whole world. The sights, smells, and feel of that first neighborhood are often imprinted on the subconscious of a person for their whole life. The story of a first neighborhood will often be a magic key to the choices, fears, and preferences experienced in later life, long after the first neighborhood is years in the past. 

   On Sammy's Street doesn't have a great plot. There are no chase scenes and no romantic episodes. There is no mystery and the characters are not fleshed out. The story is told in the stilted simplistic language of a 16-month old child, Sammy. He takes about Mommy and Daddy, Pop-pop, and Gram Kathy. His biggest accomplishments are pouring water into his pool, eating cherry tomatoes he picked himself, and driving his little red plastic car. His adventures are going to the park in his blue wagon or going along when his Daddy and Pop-Pop play golf. There is no real danger in this neighborhood. It is filled with natural beauty and places to play and find joy. Sammy is a pretty lucky little guy. Hopefully, all of his neighborhoods will be this way.

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