Why Is This Book Out-of-Print?
You are a children's librarian. Every Wednesday morning at 11:00 you face at least 50 screaming toddlers and their world-weary caretakers in the laughable exercise some people label, Toddler Story Time. Don't let the name fool you. What these caregivers want is a blessed half an hour of peace in which you, by some miracle, are expected to be able to charm these raucous little babes into some kind of semblance of order.
This being a library, you are also expected to read books alongside your usual repetoire of hand rhymes and songs. There is, of course, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See, which you sing to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. There is Jessica Souhami's Old MacDonald which is, again, sung. But you've gotta have a book you can lead off with. One that will capture the attention and love of all the kids in your audience, who are between the ages of 18-24 months. So you turn to the only book that has never let you down. The sole book you don't have to sing and that every single person can appreciate. It is:
The dreadful irony? This book is out-of-print. Now I know there are Random House people who read this blog. I know this because Random House appears to be the only publisher with their own URL. Every time someone from that publisher visits this blog, my Sitemeter records it. So Random House, I have good news. It's time to reprint a sure-fire winner. I even have the personal assurances of Jon Buller that if you want him to redo the illustrations he will. But here's the real reason I'm writing you. New York Public Library has ONE, count 'em, ONE copy of the book in its system and it's the book I use every single week with my toddlers. By now the book is sticky, and smelly, and if I don't keep a close eye on it it tries to crawl into a heating vent to die. I would like to replace it but, oh me oh my, I can't buy a friggin' copy because IT'S OUT OF PRINT!!!
Please rectify this situation at once. I promise you that I am one of thousands of librarians who feel this way and that if you do as I ask you'll all make bundles of moolah and each and every one of you will be able to retire to the Bahamas at the age of 42.