My girl loves books. Since she was a wee little thing she expressed an interest in them. Books are an important thing to us, and apparently our family and friends as well, as P is the proud owner of at least 75 books. I have cleared her stock a few times to get rid of ones she is now too big for, and yet, she still has loads. Obviously, this is no bad thing.
Now we have reached a point at which she is branching into picture books. My baby is now too old for most board books, having already passed the "too old for cloth books" milestone ages ago. This is great though, since picture books are far more exciting and feature much greater illustrations, generally speaking. I used to work in the kids' section at Borders and often had to wipe drool off of some of the gorgeously illustrated books, I was so in awe of them.
When I say the kid is a reader, or rather, makes me a reader and herself a listener, I'm not kidding. This was tonight's list:
That's 18 books friends. Eighteen. I joked to Molly the other day that I was going to create a Goodreads* account for P. Upon further reflection, I do think it's a good idea. It will be a great way to keep track of what she has read and is currently reading. How very 21st century of us!
In reading these gallons and gallons of books, I've come to notice a disappointing theme - DEATH. These are toddlers for god's sake, do you really need to whip out the "d" word at every opportunity? My kid doesn't even know what that is yet, and I'd like to keep it that way for awhile. You want some proof?:
The book, The Selfish Crocodile
The gist is that this crocodile doesn't want the other animals frolicking in his river, the hateful bastard. Karma gives him a toothache, whereupon all the other animals are getting ready to dance on his grave:
That bird is a biiiitch!
The next, perhaps most depressing book is Gentle Giant Octopus. It was in the Information Books section for kids much older than my own, but she is obsessed with sea creatures and had to have it. Now she dispenses random pieces of octopus-related wisdom throughout the day like, "Octopuses don't have bones!" and "Octopuses have eight legs - called TENTACLES!"
The book focuses on the life journey of a female octopus. The tone of the book is that octopuses are magnificent creatures! They are so unique! Let us show you how! It gets a bit brutal at one point, with the octopus having a tentacle pinched by a crab, and another tentacle TORN OFF by a wolf eel. Quite rightly, P says, "Well, that's not very nice!" when we get to this part of the book. Thankfully the capture of this occasion is not too graphic:
The only problem is, this is all building up to the octopus' inevitable demise upon the birth of her children. Charming.
The picture isn't great, so in case you can't make sense of it, it says, "A gentle Giant Octopus shrinks in the shadows. Her life is over as their lives begin." You know, just a little light nighttime reading for the kids involving parental death! Twitterfolk were talking the other day about Disney films' obsession with the death of protagonists' parents, which apparently extends to (seemingly) harmless kids' books as well.
P also has a copy of "The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly". You don't need photos since I'm sure you know the song from your own childhood. Suffice it to say, each line ends with "Perhaps she'll DIE!" Why not? We're all going to die eventually anyway, so you might as well get used to the concept kiddies!
Perhaps a bit less forward with the concept of death and infirmity is Lucy Goosey -
Lucy Goosey strops because she doesn't want to migrate with her family. Her family pisses off without her, but then her Mum feels guilty and comes back. They have a heart to heart, and everything is honky dory again. They discuss their mutual love and Lucey the kid comes out with this nugget:
I'll transcribe due to my dodgy photography/flash issues -
"Will you always search for me?" asked Lucy Goosey
"Always," said her mother.
"Even when you're old?"
"Even when I'm old."
"When you're very old, said Lucy Goosey, you might lose your way and be scared."
"I might," said her mother
Hi Anne James, author of Lucy Goosey. Why don't you just rip out my heart with your bare hands before you stick the sharpened knife in it?
The other book issue I sometimes struggle with is innocuous language which I have chosen to make perverse. There's a lot more of it out there than you'd think. Ok, maybe I'm just looking for it. Yeah, that's probably more like it. C'mon though, check this out -
The first one is from The Selfish Crocodile, bounty of death and perversity that it is. Remember how the crocodile had a toothache? Well, a mouse comes to the rescue and pulls the bad tooth. Obviously.
There's nothing untoward there you say? The crocodile had a NICE JUICY NUT WAITING FOR HIM! A JUICY NUT.
This tale of nut lust continues...
Not only does the crocodile lure small mice into his mouth with the promise of some of his juicy nuts, but he likes to watch as well. Sick old voyeur.
The next occasion for perversion is a library book we've recently gotten for P - Ebb and Flo and the Sea Monster:
I genuinely have a hard time uttering the words without laughing. Do you think you could?
Again, not a great photo. Ebb, the dog, loves this ball. "Ebb sucked it, and tossed it." I didn't take photos of the rest of the book, but rest assured that Ebb did a lot of sucking and tossing. I don't think "tossing" means anything in the US vernacular, but it does here, hence my enjoyment. Seriously people, sucking and tossing. How could I let that go?
I feel I should say more, because I know if I plumbed the depths of her book collection I could come up with even more death and sex fodder. It's something to look forward to (dread?) for future posts!
*For those who missed my post mentioning my own Goodreads account due to Bloglines' inability to function as a proper feed reader, I'm on there and I want friends. My account is under my "real" email address, so send me an email at my gmail account (barrenalbion at gmail dot com) if you want to be a book BFF.