Saturday, February 18, 2006


Last summer, a very nice kid sold me several of his old (and yet quite well-looked after) Dr. Seuss (and co.) books at a garage sale. I'm pretty sure his name is Kyle Cheng, because it is written in the front cover of most of the books with rather nice handwriting. When I was a kid, I had a couple Dr. Seuss (and co.) books. I still remember Hand Hand Fingers Thumb, The Foot Book, If I Ran the Zoo, Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now and my mother's personal favourite, Fish Out of Water. Working in a children's library for 4 years, I learned the titles of a lot of the other Seuss books, but I didn't actually read them until after Kai was born. Now I'm finally discovering the fun of classics like Green Eggs and Ham, which I recently read was written after a bet that one couldn't write a good children's book with a vocabulary of 50 words or less. I have yet to check this personally, but it certainly seems about right.

Kai tends to want a particular book read to him night after night for 4 or 5 days at a time. As Northrop Frye once wrote, we learn by repetition. What better way than with Dr. Seuss? For a while, it was Go, Dog, Go, then A People House, then Are You My Mother (that one lasted a while.) Just before Christmas, I read How the Grinch Stole Christmas to him, and it became a cherished favourite for many MANY nights. A few days ago, I picked up the Lorax... what a fabulous story! And what a great way to introduce environmental issues to kids. I'm starting to realize that by not having read it until now, I likely missed out on a number of literary references to it over the years... Again, I'm having flashbacks to OAC English and Frye.

Speaking of references, although not necessarily literary, I've had to describe what being a Polkaroo is a few times over the last few weeks. It's such a perfect term for "someone you have heard exists, yet never seen personally," and yet so lost on anyone who didn't grow up in Canada.

1 comment:

Pete said...

polkaroo alternatives. you may want to try snuffalupagus. but for him it was only big bird who saw him and no one else so might not be the best but it may make describing polkaroo easier.