Dear Mr. Firth,
You must allow us to tell you how ardently we admire and love you.
To celebrate your 54th birthday, we’re serving up a 3-course repast here at Alphabet Soup: a brand new picture book, a spot of tea, and you.
Whether as Fitzwilliam Darcy or Mark Darcy, you truly take the cake. May we be so bold as to say you are stunning wet, dry, and everything in-between?
And boy, can you rock a cravat and waistcoat.
We remain your loyal fans, wishing you the best birthday ever.
With deep affection and hearts a-flutter,
Every female in the world with a pulse
* * *
♥ FIRST COURSE ♥
Goodnight Mr Darcy by Kate Coombs and Alli Arnold
It is a truth universally acknowledged that an earnest writer and a department store sniffing artist in possession of talent and wit must be in want of a good parody.
For award winning author Kate Coombs and award-winning illustrator Alli Arnold, a send-up of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice à la beloved children’s classic Goodnight Moon was just the thing to set their bonnets a-twirl.
In the great ballroom
There was a country dance
And a well-played tune
And Elizabeth Bennet —
So begins this tidy tale of moonlight and romance, as all are gathered at the Netherfield Ball — Lydia and Kitty looking pretty, Mr Darcy surprised by a pair of fine eyes, Jane with a blush and Mr Bingley turned to mush, and let’s not forget a certain gossiping mother and a father saying ‘hush’.
Those familiar with Pride and Prejudice know that the Ball is a crucial scene — where Darcy has singled out Elizabeth, and caught off-guard, she agrees to dance with him. They are allowed to engage in unchaperoned conversation (gasp!), their unguarded repartee ever-so-temptingly weakening their resolve.
In Goodnight Mr Darcy (Gibbs Smith, 2014), Kate has retained the simple rhyming structure and lulling cadence of Brown’s Goodnight Moon, but with a brilliant tongue-against-blushing cheek makeover that outlines all the delectable aspects of the prim and proper Darcy/Lizzy conscious coupling from ‘cute meet’ at the dance to mutual mooning over each other at home to happily ever after. The Mr Bingley and Jane pairing adds a bit of ‘mushy’ humor boys will appreciate, while the whole concept of a fancy dress ball with tipping of top hats, flitting of fans and oh-so-civilized how-de-do’s will have special appeal to girls.