Monday, November 17, 2008

Pumpkinpie's Picks

I wasn't going to do a Pumpkinpie's Picks post for a while - I had posts ready! With themes and stuff! But I am about to overstep my parenting ethics, and I bet I'm not alone, so I'm here to share my pain, people.

You remember how in the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes, Calvin always wanted to read Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooey, every. single. night? Much to his parents teeeth-gnashing horror? Yeah. Pumpkinpie has a Huey, and my head is about to explode in a gooey kablooey.

Have you hit this particular wall in storytime before? Where you can't stand the thought of reading that one book even just one more time? What I want to know is - what did you do? Because I'm about to hide a book or two around here and tell Pumpkinpie I just don't know where they could have gone! But I hate the thought of deceiving my child, and I don't know if I can bring myself to do it. So tell me - what do I do?

And meanwhile, in the interest of public service, let me advise you not to take any of these home unless you want to find yourself reciting them in your sleep.

Skippyjon Jones, by Judith Schachner

This is currently enemy #1. Hamster Huey, if you will. Not only does she want this one every night, but it requires silly accents, which grow old after being trotted out a few times running. Plus, she practically knows it by heart herself, but refuses to give me a break and read it to me, instead. I've begged her for a night off, threatened to have Skippyjon go on vacation, and told her I need some variety, but I've only succeeded in getting one night's respite. A tale about a wild, crazy little cat with a massive imagination (and ears to match), it's silly, and I always figured it wouldn't play as well here as in the states, where there is more exposure to Mexican stereotypes culture, but apparently, background doesn't matter when there is funny to be had.

Miffy. Any Miffy. Series by Dick Bruna.

I love Miffy, in fact, and we have a handful that get rotated, so I don't mind this, but I warn you - if you venture down Miffy Lane, make sure you have a few different books on hand so the rhyming cadence, the simple illustrations, and the cute bunny don't grow too worn, because they'll get asked for night after night. I remember these from when I was a kid, actually, and loved them myself. Sorry, mom.

Dora's Storytime Collection.

Woe betide the friend who bought us this one. Dora shows have to be seriously cut down to fit a short few-page format for storytime books, and they, um, lose something in the translation. Yes, the shows are better. Oy. Still, at least she keeps choosing a sweet one about making a birthday cake for her mother, which involves some of her favourite things and mine - cake, birthdays, and chocolate. And I get a hug and I love you at the end, just like Dora's mom. Payoff!

Hello Kitty, Hello World

For a kid who likes Miffy, Hello Kitty is sort of a natural progression, seeing as she is drawn in much the same bold, graphic style. In this book, Hello Kitty is off to see the world, and she shows us some of the most famous things from each country she visits, as well as telling us how to say hello. The first few times we read this, I loved it. Cute! Fun! Even sort of educational! How nice to have my daughter aware that there are other places and cultures out there! How wonderful to hear her attempt to say hello in Swahili! But really. How many nights can I play tour guide for the same items? I think I know now what it must be like to run one of those tour buses, and it ain't pretty. My rendition's getting shorter and shorter. Maybe I need to bust out an atlas and an almanac so I can add in some new fun facts to spice things up.

Olivia Forms a Band, by Ian Falconer

I don't mind this one so much because, well, it's really funny, and somehow making all the crazy noises night after night isn't as bad a crazy accents. While it kind of feels like a bunch of funny bits strung together rather than a narrative, which I usually prefer, Olivia is a howl, and Pumpkinpie cracks up as I start imitating horns and cymbals gone awry, especially after seeing a parade full of marching bands this weekend. And like the Miffy books, there are a few Olivia books, so if your kid likes them, you can switch things up a bit, which really helps. As does the talent of the author/illustrator, which I can't help but admire, even as I read this for the hundredth time.

Find these and other addictive paper at your local public library!

Originally posted on MommyBlogsToronto/Better Than a Playdate.

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