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.
“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:
“Or it could be on the bookshelves in her playroom,” he offered.
That’s another big job. Here’s why:
“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?”
“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!
Update: Clever Jack has been found! (I’m a little embarrassed to say it was in my office all along.)