Monday, February 13, 2012

Toddler Book Club: Par-taay of 2

In the last post I wrote on and on about Eric and my raging book club. And by raging, I mean, the two of us juggling a handful of books and discussing one chapter by chapter in between yawns and hypotheses about the appendix.

I've talked a lot about how much the boys love reading, which is exaggerated by my obsession with collecting hard cover children's books. But that gets expensive. Even with Amazon. So for the past year, we've been better at going to the library. One huge advantage is that when the boys find a book that they absolutely love, and it turns into you reading it 11 million times in a day, YOU HAVE TO RETURN IT and don't have to hide it in the closet so they cannot find it. Not that I have ever done that. A lot.

But here is the problem: our library has multiple copies of some books. So, wouldn't you believe it, 2 weekends ago the boys returned 2 of "those" books that we were thrilled to see them shove in the "returns" slot...but somehow their superhero Dr Seuss and H.A. Rey radar found additional copies in the children's section.

Guess what books ended up back in our bag along with Mom and Dad's choices that seem to never get read?

Listen, I love me some Dr Seuss, but Miles is starting to read those really long obscure stories:

Specifically, he wanted to read the 2nd and 3rd stories (King Looie Katz and The Glunk That Got Thunk). Oh, and we have far surpassed that "why" stage...we are on to 21 questions after every sentence. Some times, I actually have to just ignore the questions and keep reading or it would be 10pm before lights were turned off (and then don't get me started about the requests to cuddle and talk about Saturn and Jupiter each night. We have more stalls than the Kentucky Derby.)

"Why is the last cat not have he tail held?"
"Why is there so many cats?"
"Why him walking along that way?"
"Why them in a line?"

And so on and so on. One of my friends wrote about how cute it is when your kid says things incorrectly and how you miss it when they all of a sudden lose it (I love how Miles used to say "on your mark, DEN set, go!" And still love how he says binoculars...), but his misuse of personal pronouns is killing me, people!

And while I'm kind of happy to have moved on from board books and most of the Boynton/Carle books, Felix is not quite ready for 60 pages of mostly text, so he just uses story time to jump on the chair, throw stuffed animals, and pull other books off the shelf.

But we are good about getting more age appropriate books for him, and he is sure to let you know his favorites. Speaking of obscure Dr Seuss we've read 20 gagillion times, here is Felix's favorite library book:

It's actually a really cool book, and it's not that Felix even needs to read it over and over, he's just obsessed with ONE page. So after we read it, he needs you to turn back to the wolf page.


Kinda creepy and violent, no? We couldn't understand his fascination, but between this and the dinosaur page, I was thinking he might be seeing some sort of subliminal message.

Cue creeptastic music...AND THEN I REALIZED HE WAS!

Okay, follow me here. I was sitting patiently while Felix obsessed over this page and was like, at least make this educational, Mom. So I asked him what does a wolf say?
"Good! Now where is the wolf's eye?"
"Right there!" (pointing to the inside of the mouth)
"No, right here. Where is the wolf's nose?"
"Right there!" (pointing to the inside of the mouth)
"No, right here. Where is the wolf's mouth?"
Right there!" (pointing to the inside of the mouth)

...and then I realized what my child was obsessed with looking at and pointing to:

HELLO CREEPY FACE IN THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF!!! Just to confirm, I asked Felix about all of the facial features again, and sure enough, he pointed to the creepy eyes when I asked about the eyes, the creepy nose when I asked about the nose, and creepy mouth when I asked about the mouth. I mean...whoa. How this kid does not have nightmares.

I love that my kids are curious and imaginative, but this took it to a new level.

Speaking of curious, another author we've grown to both love and hate in our house is H.A. Rey. Curious George anyone? I love a cute, curious monkey, but
  1. The books are LONG
  2. They have some pretty dated messages and concerning subject matter for someone with an advanced degree in public health.
I mean, Dr Wiseman forcing the monkey to be the first living creature in space and asking him to risk his life because the space shuttle is too small for humans? Hello Project X! (Poor Virgil...). And then there are these gems:

(Miles is all "Look! He's flying!")

(Cordial glasses and Cuban cigars???)

What I didn't (illegally) post a picture of was our newest George book where the monkey is actually smoking a pipe. I know the 40's were a different time, but I'm just not ready to have discussions about lung cancer, hallucinogenic substances, and animal abuse.

Okay, okay. I know I'm a little extreme in my reflections, but intentionally so. The truth is, we really do pause at some of the old books and content more in astonishment and have great commentary on what was kosher at the time, but I'm happy to read them to the boys.

Preferably no more than 3 times a day.


  1. I feel your pain with reading the same book over and over...and over.

    Maggie has been very into Snowballs -

    my aunt gave her a collection of Lois Ehlert books when she was born - very cool books from a MKE native! Many of them go with the changing seasons. Anyways - just passing along in the off chance you hadn't heard of them!

  2. I love this post. The Curious George ether stuff made me laugh. Fortunately, Zoe is currently obsessed with Olivia books and Ella with Mo Willems books. Not that we had any hand in perhaps actively trying to get them away from reading "Three Snow Bears" for the bazillionth time!