Today we read Papa Piccolo. Well, first we walked to town in the rain, because a laundry disaster meant I had to buy disposable nappies. So we ate out, and popped into the only art gallery I knew of, The Lemongrove Gallery, so that the children could see what an art gallery is or does, and some paintings other than mine or prints. That succeeded pretty well. I am hopeful that I can sort out some careful visits to "proper" art galleries later. It helps when they know a bit about what to expect.
One painting happened to be of a couple of gondolas, titled "Venice, Italy," which was handy. When we got home we read Papa Piccolo while we drank our hot chocolate (full disclosure: there was a huge tantrum in the middle of the going home part, and a literal and figurative cooling-down period) and I discussed families and what adults lose and gain when they have children, and then the children read it again later with someone else. You see, our visitor this evening was a good friend of the family who has actually been to Venice, in person, and she was able to tell them all sorts of interesting, engaging things about it. So they had her read the Dolphin in the Grand Canal book (thanks, Tinderbox!), and then Papa Piccolo again, and I fully expect that tomorrow all sorts of things will happen. I anticipate some questions on glass-blowing, for a start.
It was nice to be back in the educational swing of things.
Meanwhile, have a gawp at this map:
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