God bless Louise Fitzhugh! I have been slowly trying to ink out tributes to a few of my favorite children's books and authors (and boy, do I mean slowly...). Words can do little justice to express how much books like Harriet the Spy meant to me as a kid and continue to mean to me as a growing lady; especially since I can't even watch the trailer for WTWTA without shedding a handful of tears. Like many other little ladies, I ate my fair share of tomato sandwiches, spent too much time in the bathtub trying to scrub that permanent freckle off of my right foot, and hid in bushes scribbling furiously on my fifty cent notebooks from the pharmacy. I admired Harriet's pluck, her passion for the written word, and her appreciation for a cool glass of milk with a slice of cake! At the age of seven, I traded in my barbies for things like silly putty, fake mustaches, and electric blue pencil sharpeners. It was, I felt, my duty to write down how many ant hills I saw on my walk to my best friend's house, her brother's boring conversations, and to figure out just why our neighbors only came out of their house late at night (late then meaning past seven o'clock). In fact, two years ago, I went so far as to try a milky egg cream for the first time in Harriet's honor. I'd never tasted something so dull and unfulfilling, but I drank every single drop as if it were the last!
And honest to goodness, every once in a while, when I'm researching for a paper or for fun (is it really research though when you enjoy it?), I feel just about as sleuthy as Harriet must have felt before she was caught in the dumbwaiter!