Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Foot

So this is what I saw when I walked to out my car Tuesday morning:

I was sleepy after the new neighborhood dog had barked 500 times in the last hour, and when I saw the foot I was trying to process about five thoughts at once.

Including this one: there's a *ucking foot hanging out of my car.

I knew it was the foot I'd gotten for Halloween last year, but from ten feet it looked real enough to short circuit my brain, especially because the toes were just touching the driveway.

It didn't look real, but it did.

I walked back into the house. "Something's afoot," I said.

"I got you, Dad!" Eli 5. 10 said, laughing. "I got you!" It was his prank, in concert with the babysitter. I've said it before, but just one more time: that's my boy.

I've been reading a book to him called The Invention of Hugo Cabret (recommended by reader Cliff Eyler). The book is several inches thick, but that's because there are dozens and dozens of beautiful, full-page pencil sketches included. I started reading it on Saturday night, and I didn't stop until I finished, because it was impossible to put down.

Here's the description from the Amazon page:
Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

You had me at "mechanical man."

Anyway, after I finished, I started reading it to Eli, and he was absolutely mesmerized by the story and the drawings. We finished in three days, which must be some kind of land speed record for reading that book out loud.

It's a wonderful, special book. The Amazon page is here, and you'll also see one of the pencil sketches. Block out some time when it gets delivered, because you'll be reading it straight through.

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