My parents are pretty anti-technology. They still don’t have any sort of call waiting, and I don’t think they bought an answering machine until I was well into high school. My mother has an old school flip phone, and my father has a Droid – but he doesn’t have a Gmail account, so he can’t actually take advantage of any of the smart phone features like email, internet, or apps.
So, when I reflect back to high school, and realize that I was able to use a cell phone after I got my driver’s license (theirs, initially, but I got my own when I turned 18), it is pretty amazing how generous and “hip” they were. Until I recall the only reason I ever had to use it – when I was lost. Every day. Five minutes from home.
I’m a bookworm. We went to the library every single week, and I’d check out a tote bag full of books. I’d read all of them, and most of my sister’s books as well. I couldn’t go anywhere without a book or three, and never paid attention to anything around me. So when I started driving, in the neighborhood where I grew up – still living in the house I came home from the hospital to – I had no idea where anything was.
My directional skills have improved greatly in the last 12 years, and luckily, my love of reading has only increased. But now I have a Kindle, a Google Tablet Nexus 7, and the Kindle App on my cell instead of lugging around hardbacks. Tyler is also an avid reader, and he relaxes with audio books while commuting, doing yard work, or even unwinding in bed at the end of the night. It was no surprise to us that our daughter would toddler over with a board book in hand, asking “boouh?” as soon as she could walk, and that the only times she really stays still is when we’re curled up with a stack of stories. She points to things in the pictures, turns the pages, and loves interacting with fuzzy bunnies, flap panels, and any sort of movement.
Thus, Tyler and I have accumulated a large collection of board books (she still can’t be trusted with paper pages), and keep them in our coffee table. We have most of them memorized, and both have personal favorites.
Yet, there are quite a few that leave me shaking my head, hiding under cushions, and trying to hand off to my friend’s kids.
The Going to Bed Book, by Sandra Boynton.
I love Sandra Boynton, and this seemed like the perfect bedtime book. The animals go down to their rooms! They take baths, brush teeth, and put on pajamas!
And then they go outside and exercise. Yeah, SO not how that works in my house. After a bath? Books or puzzles, then bed. There is not to be any sweating.
Waddle!, by Rufus Butler Seder.
This is a scanimation book, so as you wiggle the pages the animals look like they are moving. It seems like such a cute idea – talking about the movement of animals, and showing them hopping, wiggling, leaping, etc.
And then it spends two pages summarizing all of the ways the cute little animals move…
Before basically telling you that alligators are death machines, and they are going to get you. Even if you’re a bear or a snake. Nothing is safe from an alligator. Rufus Butler Seder has clearly never had to look in his kid’s closet at 2am for scary monsters.
Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown.
Everyone gets indignant when I loudly proclaim this the WORST BOOK OF ALL TIME. “But its a classic!” they protest. A classic novel of an asshole kid and a mother that reallllly needs to cut those apron strings. First off, this little bunny is a dick. His mom clearly loves him, and he’s scheming all of these ways that he can get away from her. Although, maybe I can’t blame him. She seems to be going to an awful lot of extremes to catch him. Either way, this is a VERY unhealthy mother-son relationship.
Peekaboo, by Unknown.
What a cute idea! Its one of those “lift the flap” books, and instead of generic people/animals, you insert your own pictures! Except, the title of the book is “Peek-a-Boo”. The page clearly says “Peek-a-Boo”. So why the fuck is mommy hiding under the bed? In case you’re confused, here are the rules of Peek-a-Boo:
- Cover your eyes with your hands.
- Remove hands from eyes, and loudly declare “Peek-a-Boo!”
Ladybug Girl, by David Somar.
I thought this was a book about a girl that dresses like a ladybug. But its a girl, who dresses up like a ladybug, who dresses up like other shit like a pirate, astronaut, and a detective. Or a spy, as they seem to think detectives are called.
Luckily, there are a few books that you can’t go wrong with, such as:
Dr Seuss, The Monster at the End of This Book, and anything illustrated by Eric Carle. I could read these a hundred times a day.
Kids love hearing their names in books. And this one was catered with all sorts of details about her birthday. Super high sentimental value.
Touch and Feel Books.
We have books with flaps, books with holes, books with puppets, and several books with different textures – Guinevere loves all of them, and always reaches out to interact with the pages.
And my favorites?
Guinevere loves turning the pages. So if there are a lot of words, my OCD Type A self can’t get through all of the text before Guinevere has firmly flipped the page. Which drives me nuts. So I LOVE books that are short and sweet, so I can actually finish reading them!
What are your favorites? Any books drive you absolutely nuts?