The Fredericton fall fair opens this weekend, FREX as it's known around town. I'll be there-- with wet wipes for cotton candy fingers and a camera to capture that perfect wide-eyed merry-go-round moment. Before you head out to your local fall fair, I recommend hitting the library first to find a copy of Merry-Go-Day written by Fredericton native Sheree Fitch and illustrated by long-time Fredericton artist Molly Lamb Bobak (Doubleday, 1991; no longer in print).
The inspiration for the book comes from FREX, specifically, but it is suited to any old fair-going experience. Laid out as a series of poems that walks the reader through the sights and sounds of a day at the fair, the book is as crisp as a McIntosh apple. If you've never read Fitch's tongue tantalizing verse out-loud, Merry-Go-Day is a must for this Labour Day weekend. Here's an excerpt:
The hammer slammer
Always rings the bell
Slam that hammer
Sam the slammer
Sam the hammer-slamming
Merry-Go-Day is a perfectly indulgent day out. Fitch takes us on the bumper cars, a roller coaster, and the Ferris Wheel; she feeds us hot dogs, ice cream and cotton candy; we get just a little spooked in the Haunted House; and we play a game of chance. The question is, will we win that purple parrot our heart's desire? You'll have to check the book out to know.