Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Review: The Gazebo, By Ethel Pochocki
I am drawn to gazebos. One summer evening, Himself and I pledged our vows to one another in a gazebo, our family seated inside and our friends gathered around us. I am also drawn to charming, quality children's literature, so I was as pleased as pleased could be when, several years ago, I acquired an autographed copy of Ethel Pochocki's treasure of a book, The Gazebo.
This is the story of Mary Rose, a wealthy child growing up in the city a long time ago, and her lifelong love affair with gazebos. As an adult, she works as a diplomat, but when she retires, she builds for herself the perfect gazebo. Mary Beth Owens' delightful period watercolors perfectly complement Ethel Pochocki's elegant prose. Moreover, I admire the quiet message that lingers just below the surface of the story: our life stories have many chapters.
Although this is a picture book, it's written for older children (and adults!) and is best shared with someone you love and a cup of tea.
I've known for a while that Ethel Pochocki hails from Maine, the town of Brooks, to be exact, which we drive through on our way to the coast. I think of her every time, Wouldn't it be marvelous to meet her? I learned today, however, that she passed away less than a year ago, in December, at the age of 85, the author of more than 30 books. She lived a long, lovely life and left a legacy of literature for us to savor.