Fuse #8

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Man Vs. Maisy

It's easy to forget that there are millions of American adults out there for whom children's literature is only applicable to their lives when their toddler stumbles into a room with a book and the parent has little choice but to read whatever it was their friends/family bought them for the child's last birthday. These people have never had the inclination to go out and find the best possible easy reading fare for their tots because they either do not care or haven't the time/inclination. The result is a piece like My nemesis: Maisy Mouse. What a brilliant example of what happens when a parent doesn't pay attention and WHAM. They end up reading over and over a book they can't stand to their adorable Maisy-luvin' son.

I'm not saying that this is an entirely avoidable situation. But it's clear that this guy, in spite of his utter bile-spitting contempt for the world's most famous British mouse (Danger Mouse and Basil have to take a backseat to her, sadly) isn't helped any by the fact that he is deeply aware of at least 3 different Maisy books. Now the article is more about dealing with your child's essential innocence and how it stands in opposition to your own deeply ingrained cynicism. Still, don't like Maisy? Whole bunch of other books out there, buddy. Doesn't take all that long to find 'em. Methinks this fellow is long overdue for a trip to the library. A trite idea, but I'm putting down even money that says his kid doesn't have a card.

I've just discovered Babble for the first time, which describes itself as "a magazine and community for the new urban parent." Uh-oh. I work in the heart of Manhattan and I can tell you that there's nothing much more frightening than an organized conglomeration of "urban parents". So, naturally, I had to check out their book reviews. My fear was that it would turn out to be just a massive listing of books like Urban Babies Wear Black and other disturbing adult-centric fare. But it's a rather good list, from what I could see, so that fear went entirely unfounded. Still, you may have to contend with statements like, "While I 100-percent support reading to children, and know it's necessary for their development and all that, I must confess I hate reading most children's books aloud. They're often repetitive, have dumb plots or require me to make awkward sound effects." Poor parents. Such trials and tribulations they must endure. Somebody hold my hankie while I go and fish the world's smallest violin out of my pocket.

Thanks to Gail Gauthier for the link.

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At 2:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


When my son was a toddler, it was "Hooray for Truckmice!"

I had to read it to him at bedtime for months. Every time "Hooray!" came up, he'd fling his arms up and say "Hooray!"

Okay, it was actually kind of cute. I should've made a videotape, so I could blackmail him with it when he's a teenager.


At 2:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Strollerderby blog on Babble is really fun:


They post approximately once every five minutes, but a lot of the posts are interesting and/or highly entertaining, IMHO, even for someone such as myself who doesn't actually have any children living in her house.

At 11:25 PM , Blogger Saints and Spinners said...

Fortunately, those who hate reading children's books aloud have Madonna to champion them. I want to hear some awkward sound effects...


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