Hi! I’m Gail. I currently live in Bloomington, Indiana, a town in Southern Indiana, home of Indiana University. We have lived in Bloomington for more than 20 years. My husband, Tim, is a professor of philosophy at Indiana University. We have 3 children: Brian (23) is in law school at Yale University, Laura (21) is a junior at Hope College, in Holland, MI and Lindsay (17) is a junior in high school. Bloomington boasts of having an award winning public library and our family has put it to good use!’
I grew up in France where my parents served with TEAM, in church planting ministry for 35 years. My mother is British and we spent many summers as a child visiting family in England and vacationing by the coast of England. One of things I enjoyed about going to England was picking up English books at the shops there to take back. We would also stock up on books when we returned to the US for furloughs.
Of course, I read many French classics as a child, such as Caroline books by Pierre Probst, Babar books by Jean de Brunhoff, The Adventures of Tintin by Herge or Obelisk and Asterisk books by Rene Goscinny, LaFontaine’s Fables, as well as Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, The Little Prince by Saint-Exupery, and The Three Muskateers by Alexandre Dumas (most of these are available to you, in English translation.) However, as a child, my favorites which I would read and reread were Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter, The Little House of the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and Heidi by Johanna Spyri. My mom would read aloud to us, and I will never forget her reading of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein. Her Golum voice as she would whisper to us: “What has it got in its pocketses” in her british accent was priceless!
On Christmas morning, my favorite package under the tree was a pile of books, often shipped from the US. I would sit curled up, with my mom’s homemade banana bread and steaming cup of tea, reading for hours. I would love to give that same gift to your child in the years to come! (Christmas is often a time for family visits – I can mail books to your family members or friends who can then bring those books with them when they visit you for the holidays.)