Illustration by David Small for the American Library Association in 1999
Today is the Rose Festival and International Book Day in Barcelona.
How about that for a fun fact.
My sister gave me this box of cards - without even knowing that David Small was one of my favorite illustrators. If you are in the bedtime story phase of life, try Imogene's Antlers and The Gardener, both illustrated by David Small and great stories. Imogene, who has such a fantastic name, is loaded with spunk.
Back to Roses and Books... first of all, I love bookshops and bookshop websites. I receive periodic e-mails from the Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver. Last week they sent out the following blurb from which I quote verbatim:
"Every year on April 23, Barcelona erupts in a celebration of chivalry and romance, Book & Lover's Day. It all began in the middle ages with an annual Festival of Roses to honor St. George, Patron Saint of Catalonia, who as a brave Roman soldier allegedly slew a dragon about to devour a beautiful young princess. According to legend, a rosebush sprouted from the blood of the dragon and the soldier plucked its most perfect blossoms to give to the princess as a remembrance. In 1923, the Rose Festival merged with International Book Day, established to celebrate the lives of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare, both of whom died on April 23rd, 1616. Now, bookstalls and flower stands sprout up along the Rambla, a two mile-stretch connecting the city with the Mediterranean Sea. Thousands of Barcelonans crowd the streets to enjoy a festive atmosphere of readings, music, literature, and dance."
So grab a book and your love and cuddle on the couch - maybe even a book of poems since April is national poetry month. If you have not read this title - try it - Shadow of the Wind: A Novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, set in Barcelona and all about books.