This week Blue Manatee will be celebrating Screen-Free week from April 29th-May 5th. This week marks a time to unplug and have some old-school fun like riding a bike, exploring your neighborhood, and–oh, why not read a book or two as well. If you haven’t already seen it, swing by the store and check out the awesome mural by illustrators Bob Staake and Chris Raschka hanging in our window. The mural is a colorful celebration of being an unplugged kid–perfect for screen-free week!
Also, perfect for screen-free week is the book of the week: Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace. Betsy-Tacy is the first book of the charming Betsy-Tacy series. I have long been an admirer of the later books in the series in which Betsy, Tacy, and the gang are in high school and then the world beyond, but I hadn’t yet taken the time to read about how Betsy and Tacy first met at the age of 5.
In this first book, we see imaginative Besty befriend bashful Tacy, and we know that they were meant to be the dearest of friends. Together, they play dress up and call on the neighbors, make up stories with their paper dolls, and have picnics on the Big Hill. But my favorite of their adventures is when they use their imaginations to add to their fun or to find comfort during the sad or scary times.
They use their imaginations to ride in a magical (and heated) milk wagon when they have to walk to school in the bitter cold, and their imaginations come in handy again when they decide to float on a feather to watch the town and their families. Perhaps somewhat bittersweet, they also imagine a robin flying to heaven to visit with Tacy’s little sister. Yes, even in the few sad moments in the world of Betsy and Tacy, there is always some happiness to be found.
I can not recommend this book (or the series it begins) enough! So, during this screen-free week, why not spend some time between the pages of a book that celebrates the power of true friendship and the imagination.