books · picture books · slice of life

If You Were Clever Jack, Where Would You Be? #sol16

Isabelle reorganized the books in her room about two weeks ago. She brought many of her books downstairs to her playroom and to our great room. She swapped the upstairs books with downstairs books. There were baskets of books that made their way up and down the stairs. I stayed out of it as best as I could since I thought it was good she wanted to shift books to different places.

I thought wrong. I’m now royally screwed since I didn’t get involved in the book swap.

I’m in the midst of going through the page proofs of my forthcoming professional book for Stenhouse with a fine-tooth comb. I wrote lessons for 20 different picture books, one of which is Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming and G. Brian Karas. Clever Jack resided in Isabelle’s bedroom book baskets until two weeks ago. Now it is SOMEWHERE in our house, but I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE IT IS!

We have mini picture book libraries in nearly every room of our house. (Is it pathetic to admit Isabelle even keeps a basket of picture books in our master bedroom’s bookshelf?) Finding one book is not easy if you don’t know where its chief reader placed it!

I texted my husband about this situation in a panic this afternoon. He called me back immediately. “Is that the one with the boy named Jack?”

“Yes!” I said.

“And he goes to give a princess a cake for her birthday?”

“Yes!” I said.

“And she lands up being allergic to the strawberry on the cake and that’s all that’s left?”

“Yes! You know the book. But do you know where it is?” I asked.

“I have no idea,” he replied.

Ugh!

“Can you go and get it from the library?” Marc asked.

“I could, but I’d rather find my copy. Besides, that’s assuming our library has it in the stacks. Otherwise, I’ll have to wait for it to come in.”

“Did you check the guest room closet?” Marc asked.

“Why would it be there? Those are mostly just my old picture books from school.”

“I’ve seen Isabelle playing in there lately. It could be there.”

Why has she been playing in there?!!? I dread looking through that closet. Here’s why:

This isn't exactly the most organized place where I keep books. Then again, it is inside of a closet.
This isn’t exactly the most organized place where I keep books. Then again, it is inside of a closet.

“Or it could be on the bookshelves in her playroom,” he offered.

That’s another big job. Here’s why:

It’s not just the open shelves that contain books. Some of the pull-out bins contain books too.
Don't ask me how many times I've asked my daughter to keep the spines facing out in her playroom bookshelves. And she still doesn't do it!
Don’t ask me how many times I’ve asked my daughter to keep the spines facing out in her playroom bookshelves. And she still doesn’t do it!

“I’m not going to go through anything until Isabelle gets home from school. Maybe she’ll remember where she put Clever Jack,” I said.

* * * * *

Isabelle munched on her snack after school. I thought that would be the perfect time to ask her about Clever Jack‘s whereabouts.

“Remember when you reorganized your books a couple of weeks ago?”

She nodded.

“Do you remember where you put Clever Jack Takes the Cake?”

“Why?” she asked.

“Because I need it,” I said.

“Why do you need it?” Isabelle asked.

I attempted to explain why I needed it for checking some things in my book. That didn’t help.

“But why do you want it?” Isabelle said again.

“Listen,” I said feeling exasperated. “Do you remember where it is or not?”

“Not,” she replied.

Great! I’m going to have to tear this house apart tonight on my own.

Until then, I’m going back to work, forging ahead with the rest of the manuscript (and the books I was able to find). Note to self: Don’t let the kid touch the picture books in the pile I created on the couch for the next week!

This is where I'm sitting to do my proofing. Looks cozy, right? It would be ten times cozier if I had Clever Jack Takes the Cake by my side!
This is where I’m sitting to do my proofing. Looks cozy, right? It would be ten times cozier if I had Clever Jack Takes the Cake by my side!

*****

Update: Clever Jack has been found! (I’m a little embarrassed to say it was in my office all along.)

Isabelle recognized Clever Jack by its spine, which was facing out in my office. Perhaps now she'll understand the importance of book spines facing out.
Isabelle recognized Clever Jack by its spine, which was facing out in my office. Perhaps now she’ll understand the importance of book spines facing out.
Head over to http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com for more slices of life.
Head over to http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com for more slices of life.
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18 thoughts on “If You Were Clever Jack, Where Would You Be? #sol16

  1. Oh my gosh, I was in suspense the whole way through this slice. I thought for sure it would end with you finding the book. I love that you have so many places where it could be hiding, but I hate that you have to look in so many places to find it. I don’t even know this book- but you’ve also got me curious about the story. Good luck finding the book!

  2. I giggled nonstop reading your post. Isn’t it lovely that she loves books so much. But oh, dear, the page proofs need to get done. Thanks for sharing your post. Looking forward to the book release.

  3. Stacey, I do think you have more picture books than I do! Sure hope that Clever Jack is found soon! Love the photos – especially of the closet! And the humor (for the reader, anyway) where Mark is remembering the entire story and your hope is building that he knows exactly where the book is – only he doesn’t!

  4. Wow, a happy ending indeed! I love that your husband knew that story so well! With the amount of books in your home it is very impressive!

  5. This is hilarious! I love seeing the photos of the books all over the house. It makes me feel less guilty about the amount of money I spend on books. Your daughter finding it in your office is the icing on the cake.

  6. Oh, how I can relate! With a houseful of people, I never know where a book might show up and I have had to resort to getting a copy from the library because a book just couldn’t be found. On more than one occasion, I just ordered a new one from Amazon. It was definitely much more fun reading about your dilemma than experiencing it myself!

  7. Loved Isabelle answering your question with a question! So typical of a child her age. You have a special talent for capturing dialogue. I’m thinking in a few years you will have to make your house into a lending library!

  8. Stacey, I laughed through this whole story! Not because you couldn’t find your book but because I’ve been there. It’s one of the joys of children, right? I absolutely love that Isabelle found it…and on your bookshelf no less! Thanks for the smile, and I’m glad you found it in the end. 🙂

  9. I know it was not fun for you while search for Jack but it was great fun to read! My kids are grown and I am still searching for books. They now come visit and leave with books but don’t tell me. I have learned to just text my daughter and say do you have —- before I get to upset and tear the house apart looking. At least they are still reading! Book Love!

  10. Love this slice – I have missed Isabelle stories– there are so many slicers this month I have trouble finding everyone. It has been such fun meeting new slicers, but I needed my Isabelle fix and you did not disappoint today. Thank you … and glad you found the book.
    Clare

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