Are You a Literacy Cat?

I love to read. I love to write. I love cats.

Put all three together and you pretty much have the lifestyle elements of my day–topped off by a cuppa tea, of course.

Reading in the morning in my “secret place” corner involves my Bible (I’m rediscovering the riches of the Amplified with all those meaty definitions tucked right into the text translations), and my Nook reader where I visit the many devotional writer’s blogs I subscribe to. I have my cuppa green tea at hand (can’t start the day without it), and a host of favorite books surrounding me should the fancy strike me to open one up for a page or two. Not to be forgotten is my journal and pen.

And, my cat.

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Copperfield (named for his copper/marmalade color after a famous Charles Dickens character–do you know who?). He climbs onto my lap and snuggles in. He loves reading, too.

And, kneading my stomach. Really hate it when he does that.

But, to be sure, I revel in such a cozy setting and look forward to it daily.

So when I thought it was time to come up with a mascot for Pageant Wagon Publishing, I knew just who would be the model–and he was only too happy to comply.

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Isn’t he cute? 

He is illustrated by a very young artist/designer, Dana Berge, sister to our Fable Springs Parables illustrator, Noah Berge. A talented gal, indeed, who captured Copperfield perfectly!

My plan was to create a FREE PRINTABLE BOOKMARK with this character, for the purpose of encouraging a quality reading and literacy lifestyle. 

A Literacy Cat is cool–and Pageant Wagon Publishing wants children of all ages to live literate lifestyles. That means books and thinking and the cultivation of a love of God, love of learning, and love of the creative arts. When all these ingredients bake together in activity and purpose, they produce engaged, enthusiastic citizen-servants in the home and community–and in the world at large. Literacy paves the way for all good things and beauty to be birthed.

And surely, this world is in desperate need of healthy, God-powered, life-transforming goodness and beauty!

Copperfield is a great visual representation for our mascot–so at home in a library chair. But, our PWP mascot needed a name all his own.

That’s where Charles Dickens, once again, provides the inspiration.

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Charles Dickens shot to worldwide fame in 1837 with his first novel, The Pickwick Papers. He has been settled securely in the annuls of literature as a premier author, storyteller, and wordsmith. He is one of my favorite writers, using the richness of the English language in all its loquacious glory, to weave complex and compelling stories through unforgettable characters.

Like Mr. Samuel Pickwick–an unlikely late middle-aged hero of great girth and greater heart.

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His thirst for life and love of learning compels him to set out with three companions on a series of hilarious sporting and travel adventures. Through it all he is a character of integrity and generosity, leaving a mark of kindness and well being wherever he trods–even in the perils of a debtors prison. Being a literate, God-fearing, and well read man, his lifetime of reading and principles serve him well in dark places.

This is the perfect character inspiration for our Pageant Wagon Publishing Literacy Cat Mascot: Mr. P.W. Pickwick!

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I love the stories I’ve read recounting the trials endured by  prisoners of war in camps during WWII. More than once, these heroes found solace in having filled the library of their mind with quality literature. In a dark season of their life, when lesser literate minds might go mad, they had committed classic poetry and swaths of classic literature to memory. They recalled the lyrics to the great hymns they’d learned by heart. They had hidden Scripture in their heart, and now took the Word of God into the dens of danger.

This was their saving grace, having within them the wealth of noble literature and anointed Words to review over and over in their minds until their day of liberation.  Many became the stronghold of the other prisoners, because of their literate lifestyle.

My heart breaks to see some of what is passed off as quality reads for young people these days. When ours and our father’s generations were schooled in a rich vocabulary and required to memorize classic works of literature and poetry, this is not so today in the contemporary approach to education.

But, it had been so for hundreds–thousands of years–even in scant vestiges of literacy “holding the fort” as it were, in the dark ages. Sages of old remind us:

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Mr. Pickwick, our Pageant Wagon Publishing Literacy Cat, is designed to encourage homeschool families, students in reading programs, lovers of books, lovers of cats, and lovers of a literate lifestyle to read GOOD books. Like Plato defines them so well.

Can you help me with this?

Download the FREE printable bookmark at my Pageant Wagon Publishing website HERE. Print out as many bookmarks as you’d like–on cardstock is best. Follow the directions and make a Mr. Pickwick Literacy Cat Bookmark of your own. Make one for your children. Your grandchildren. 

Then–use it! And tell the world what kind of “virtuous thoughts . . . in lands of health amid fair sights and sounds . . . good in everything and beauty” you are reading:

  • Snap photos of you, your book, and Mr. Pickwick sitting atop holding your spot in the many strange and unusual places you find space to read–in good taste, of course. Literacy can happen anywhere!
  • Post your Mr. Pickwick bookmark photos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media sites!
  • Share your love of books and literacy with others using your reading adventures with Mr. Pickwick!
  • Link to www.pageantwagonpublishing.com and help spread the word to encourage Family Literacy and life transforming words with the world!

If you do so, leave a comment below. Be sure to friend me on my Pageant Wagon Publishing page on Facebook–post your Mr. Pickwick photos there, too! If you want to learn more about the young artist, Dana Berge, who brought our Mr. Pickwick to life, visit my Pageant Wagon Publishing Faire Words Blog for “the rest of the story.”

As we begin this new school year, let’s make an effort to seek out the best our Western literary heritage has to offer–and there is soooooo much great literature of classic proportion. Let’s elevate our vocabulary and thought standards through the lessons we learn from the Bible,  Plato, and Mr. Pickwick’s “faire words, insights, all good things and beauty.”

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Sharing Are You a Literacy Cat? this week with:

Not Just Homemaking Party at Hope in Every Season

Whole-Hearted Wednesday

Jennifer Dukes Lee’s Tell His Story

A  Little R&R Wednesday

Thought Provoking Thursday

Thursday’s Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner

Fellowship Friday at Christian Mommy Blogger

Spiritual Sundays

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Kathryn Ross 

Comments

  1. You’ve captured everything in a cat! P.W. Pickwick-great! I used to have two cats, Jake and Brother (we never could come up with a name-we always called him Jake’s brother, so it stuck) who looked just like yours! They were good cats, but bad cats. Very sweet to everyone, but naughty. Some day I’ll fill you in. I have to say, I never read “The Pickwick Papers”–I’ll put it on my “Someday” reading list-ha! Mr. Pickwick is adorable. Love the bow tie–he’s a natty catty.

    • He is natty. And his inspiration (Copperfield) is naughty. Bless him, though–I love him. Be sure to download the printable, make the bookmark, and post photos of what books he’s holding your place in on FB. Glad you dropped by, friend!
      Joy!

  2. We’re a dog family (150 pounds of St. Bernard), but we love to read, and our house is full of books!
    Blessings on your vision for spreading the gift of literacy.

    • Hahaha! Well, we used to have a golden retriever lap dog. He snuggled at the feet of the chair while I was reading–cat on my lap. Hope you make use of Mr. Pickwick anyway–and enjoy your virtual lap literacy cat!
      Joy!
      Kathy

  3. I love your kitty and his cute name. I loved reading books when I was a kid. My first real “big girl” book was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I loved it so much that I read it twice in spite of being teased for doing that. I went on to read Charles Dickens and the Bronte sisters. I so wish that our children today could know the value of reading quality literature. Time is the only thing that keeps me from reading, but I would say that I am a literacy cat for sure. Thank you for your post. Kathi

    • You have a super reading list, Kathi. I encourage you to make the time to keep up the classic and pleasure reading. It is a battle, I know. But, I find so much inspiration there. Especially when I take the Lord with me to read along. I look for his “selah secrets” as I call them, and tuck away the best practices in story crafting modeled by a master storyteller. Hope you’ll download and use Mr. Pickwick on your reading adventures. too!
      Joy!
      Kathy

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