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For one tiny princess, book sale an enchanted forest full of stories

May 14 2012
Emma Lorimer, 3, is absorbed during the Times Colonist Book Sale at the Victoria Curling Club on Sunday, May 13, 2012. 

Emma Lorimer, 3, is absorbed during the Times Colonist Book Sale at the Victoria Curling Club on Sunday, May 13, 2012.

Photograph by: Adrian Lam , timescolonist.com

The adult feet step carefully around the tiny brown-haired child sprawled out — belly down — on the basement floor of the Victoria Curling Club. The rink, temporarily transformed into a book warehouse during the weekend, holds thousands upon thousands of soft and hardcovers laid out on tables for the annual two-day Times Colonist book sale.

Emma Lorimer doesn’t know that every penny raised goes toward literacy programs throughout Greater Victoria. She doesn’t need to know. Today, on that floor, it’s all about her new books.

Her blue eyes adoringly stare at the three covers before her on the carpet. Her feet, tucked into a neat pair of pink runners, gently wave in the air above her. Two of the new books star the always youthful Cinderella.

Anything about princesses is Emma’s fancy right now. It’s in these fairy tale worlds that anything is possible. Pumpkins become chariots, lamps grant wishes and — if a story lives long enough — people never age. It’s a place where grown-ups and children rarely meet, even though they’ve spent hours buried in many of the same books.

At home, Emma remembers her favourite stories by looking at the pictures. She can’t read yet, but that’s OK. She’s three. For now, her parents handle the words.

They keep the wizardry of imagination alive when they read to her every night before bed. First dad, then mom. When relatives come to visit, like Nanna, Auntie Little or Grandpa John, everyone has a turn, which means Emma gets to stay up a little bit later. Emma always chooses the story order.

Reality will eventually dispel the myths and magic of imaginary worlds: Kisses won’t wake sleeping beauties and tiny beans won’t grow into giant beanstalks.

But, as Emma’s mother (Kate Lorimer) says, if her daughter’s lucky, she’ll find the fairy tale in her own life and keep some of the magic alive.

dspalding@timescolonist.com

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