Thursday, September 17, 2015

Jane's Blanket - a bookwrap


Authored by Arthur Miller and Illustrated by Al Parker

Unwrapping some illustrations for you...

About the book...

Arthur Miller, the author of "Death of a Salesman," penned his only book for children, "Jane's Blanket."  The book I review today is a reprint of the original which was published in 1963.  He published the book the same year as the birth of his second daughter Rebecca, but dedicated it to his firstborn daughter, Jane, who was nearing 20 years old at the time.  The blanket in the story represents himself as the father and his diminishing importance in Jane's life as she matures and grows up.

This heartwarming tale follows a little baby girl named Jane who bonds immediately to her soft, warm, cuddly pink blanket.  She calls it "bata" because she can not pronounce blanket. She is inseparable from that little square of cloth and each night snuggles down with it and receives peace and security.  

Jane grows even bigger and one night she discovers her bata is missing.  She seeks out her mom to ask where it has gone.  Her mother retrieves it and shows it to Jane telling her beloved daughter that she is growing big and her blanket has grown smaller.  Her mom points out that much revered bata is tattered, frayed and full of holes with threads sticking out all around it.  She tells Jane she is too old for it now and should release it,  but Jane disagrees.

Jane returns to her bedroom and tries to cover herself like old times, snuggle down with it once again and finally comes to realization that even though she would love to keep holding onto it ... it's time to let it go.  She lovingly places on her windowsill hoping tomorrow she may figure out what to do.

In the morning she opens her eyes and discovers a bluebird  pulling out threads from her blanket and then flying off.  What could that bird possibly be doing with those threads?  Jane's parents explain to her how her blanket is being recycled and will now be used by that special mother bird to comfort and keep her babies warm and safe. That explanation made Jane very happy indeed.  She then understood that her bata would always belong to her whenever she thought of that cozy little bird family taking refuge in their nest together.

The illustrations are sketches and the only colour added is to Jane's pink blanket which is delightful.  The story is heartwarming and relatable especially if you have had a little one that bonded with their bata and had separation anxiety when it was put to rest.

About the author...

  1. Playwright
  2. Arthur Asher Miller was a prolific American playwright, essayist, and prominent figure in twentieth-century American theatre. Among his most popular plays are All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, The Crucible and A View from the Bridge. Wikipedia
  3. SpouseInge Morath (m. 1962–2002), Marilyn Monroe (m. 1956–1961), Mary Grace Slattery (m. 1940–1956)
    Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.
    A child's spirit is like a child, you can never catch it by running after it; you must stand still, and, for love, it will soon itself come back.
    He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid.

                                                                      - Wikipedia

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