The Scarecrow's Wedding

Julia Donaldson has done it again! The Scarecrow’s Wife is another book that she has written that has a compelling and captivating storyline for children. We have enjoyed reading her newest book, The Scarecrow’s Wife, which arrived on our doorstep with impeccable timing during the lead up to my sister’s wedding.

My children were in wedding mode because we had been talking about Aunty Julienne and Uncle Matt’s upcoming wedding at the time, so the Scarecrow’s Wife slotted right into wondering about what happens at a wedding. We did need to explain that even though Aunty Julienne was having a wedding on a farm, there were not going to be scarecrows there. (I don’t think my children would have been surprised if their attendants were a host of scarecrows.) When the cousins had come over for a sleepover, (my sister also has five children), The Scarecrow’s Wedding was warmly accepted as an excellent bedtime story by my nieces and nephews and more wedding speculation continued.

Kids Reading The Scarecrows Wedding by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffer

My kids also loved the appearance of a tractor during the story, (machinery is one of my kids favourite aspects of farming),

and were likewise disappointed that Aunty Julienne was not going to be delivered to Uncle Matt on a tractor, which they thought was a stellar idea. Mind you, the wagon and Clydesdale horses were pretty impressive on the day!

A Country Wedding
One of the reasons The Scarecrow’s Wedding is such an appealing book for children is the beautiful rhyme and rhythm (often repetitive phrases) that Julia Donaldson is renowned for. (“Let’s have a wedding, the best wedding yet, A wedding that no one will ever forget.”)
It’s the tale of two simple scarecrows that fall in love. After Harry O’Hay’s successful proposal to Betty O’Barley the two construct a list of what will be necessary for their wedding. They tick of each item, but while Harry is absent searching for the last item on the list the farmer makes a new scarecrow, Reginald Rake, who makes moves on Betty. He ends up putting her life in peril and Harry comes back, saves the day and they have the best wedding yet, and I think it is fair to assume that no one forgot it.

The Scarecrows Wedding being read by cousins

I would love to have a photo to show you of the nieces and nephews with their Aunty at the wedding, but I’m afraid we will have to wait for the family photos to come back from the official photographer. Unfortunately, I don’t have high hopes for them. My children were not interested in looking at the camera during the quick family photo we had taken! It was far too busy a day to get other photos and unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of my own kids before they were grubby, and then I didn’t get any family photo with Alex and I and the kids. Sniff, sniff.

It was however a wonderful day, and just quietly, I think the bride and groom would say it surpassed even Harry and Betty’s special day.

Have your children gone to or been involved in a wedding before? 

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*This book was given to me from Scholastic Australia for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

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Get Better Betta.

A few weekends ago on 10/10/10 my cousin Jacquie got married. It was a gorgeous day and in the tradition of family weddings and funerals, a great time to catch up with the extended family.

We have a momento of the wedding now. Well, two if you also count which wasn’t the lovely coaster bonbonniere’s. The table centrepieces were a vase that contained a fish. There was a lovely letter next to the vase asking people to provide a home for the fish after the reception had ended.
My sister decided that the J bomb needed a new fish. I tried in vain to remind her the reason the fish tank was unoccupied at our house is a sad tale, that would have any innocent fish shuddering, and may possibly scar their 3 second memory. Then I claimed that we couldn’t take the fish, because we weren’t going home directly, but rather to Bundaberg and a 9 hour drive to get home would not be helpful for the fish. She kindly offered to transport the fish home. The fish looked lonely and unwanted. I gave in. Mickey was coming home with us. I have no idea who Minnie went home with.

I thought that perhaps Mickey may not get to reside in our place, my nephew became quite attached to him. Unfortunately the brother-in-law is able to resist my sister’s compelling arguments more than I can, and once the fish had the happy occassion of going to school for show and tell, he has now become a resident at our house.

On his trip home, we had a brief stop where I talked to my other sister who said the Betta fish – Siamese fighting fish – preferred warm water. Unfortunately our tank is not warm and cosy. Unfortunately I did not share this information with The Accountant in time. Unfortunately Mickey was deposited in the tank. I left him there for a few hours hoping that he might acclimatise. You never know, maybe he would grow an extra set of scales as a substitute for a woolly jumper. Alas, when I checked on him before bed, the fish was in what I now call “The Dying  Corner”.

We have had three batches of goldfish. They are all now deceased. First there was Bibble, Bobble, Bubble and Boo. Then there was Captain, Admiral, Skipper and Kamikaze. The last tank residents were the fish that we bought on the day of the 2010 elections. Farley, Gilly, Abby and Libby. Despite being blessed with such fabulous goldfish names they were not long in this world. We have checked Ph, water levels, put anti-biotics in the water, etc. But the reason for the appalling mortality rates remain a mystery.

So, last night when I saw Mickey in the dying corner, I was alarmed and decided to take immediate action, removing him from the cursed tank and putting him into warm water in his vase. It seemed that this move quite startled Mickey, and  he spent equal amounts of time swimming on his side (never a good thing) and trying to jump out. I then found an old fish bowl, so made the water a bit closer to lukewarm, and tipped him into his 3rd home for the night. After googling Siamese fighting fish in a panic and saying a prayer for his health and wellbeing I went to bed. Mickey has survived the night, so now I am contemplating our next move to ensure his longevity.

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