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Chiara's Bite of the Big Apple
A Happy Book
By Joe Famularo, Kenny Estrella
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2013 Joe Famularo
All rights reserved.
Mama put Chiara in warm clothes for the trip—a long white dress with a warm white sweater—as Chiara announced, "I want everyone to know that I can tie my shoes and zip and unzip my new raspberry-colored Christmas jacket."
Chiara wore her backpack—it had gold straps, silver fabric, and trimmings of gold and silver braids. A big gold star was in the middle of the pack. It was cold in the country the morning they left for the Big Apple. Every tree branch was covered with ice and glistened across the ice-blue sky.
When they arrived at the hotel, they went to register. Looking at Chiara, a Japanese lady with a faint smile asked, "And who are you?"
"Snow White," replied Chiara. "We're checking in. May we have the room we reserved, please?"
"Are your dwarfs checking in also?" asked the Japanese attendant.
"No, they are back home in our little cottage. Thank you for thinking of them."
They were given a folder containing a plastic security "key" to be used on the elevator and to get into their room.
"Papa, please let me use the card on the elevator. It seems like magic. Show me how, Papa," Chiara begged.
"But you can't reach it, baby," explained Papa, as he picked her up in his arms, lifting her high so she could slip the card into the elevator slot and push the button 36. Magic!
After they settled in, Papa let her use the card again to go down on the elevator to the lobby level, which gave way to the main lobby of the Waldorf Astoria. Everyone was nice to her; they called her Snow White. One lady said her skin was white as snow, her lips red as blood, and her hair black as ebony. Sister Keeshia took photos of them in front of the magnificent clock. Chiara thought, Does it really tick-tock? They sat in several of the upholstered lobby chairs to watch the parade of people pass by. Several said, "Oh look! There's Snow White."
They celebrated lunch at Oscar's. Chiara selected the menu: chicken nuggets, french fries, ranch dressing, and tongue-twisting lemonades. Chiara said, "Mmmm, tastes good. I feel happy and safe with my family." And now, Chiara's wish came true.
They went to the matinee of Mary Poppins at the New Amsterdam Theatre on West 42nd Street. In the foyer, someone was selling Mary Poppins's umbrellas and bags—just what Chiara wanted. They were expensive, but Papa talked with Mama and they let her buy those with some of the money she had saved. The usher gave her a booster pad for her seat (after she asked for one), and she was able to see her favorite show in person. Everyone thought she would fall asleep, but she didn't. Chiara sighed. "It's so thrilling to see Mary Poppins float in and out of her house." The most exciting was when she floated over the audience. Chiara tried to touch her. Mary Poppins flew through the air, landed on the balcony, and disappeared. What a show!
"We've got to see more of the Big Apple," said Chiara. They went to Rockefeller Center. The Christmas tree there was the biggest and brightest Chiara ever saw. They rode through Central Park to the popular restaurant Tavern on the Green, where Mama planned supper. Chiara said she felt she was Red Riding Hood as she stroked her bright red Christmas jacket.
Excerpted from Chiara's Bite of the Big Apple by Joe Famularo, Kenny Estrella. Copyright © 2013 Joe Famularo. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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