Monday, July 22, 2013

Why the big push toward literacy?

If you haven't taken a look to the right and read my brilliant description of myself, please do so now.  Don't worry about us, we have absolutely nothing better to do and will wait.  Brenda does have a doctor's appointment to check a lump on her thyroid, but its probably benign, so take your time.

Done.  Great.  Now you know that I have a two-year-old daughter, who I will call the Princess.  I guess I could have just opened with "I have a two-year-old" rather than making you feel guilt for not reading my bio, but then you wouldn't also know that I have a SUV and am a rather handsome guy, and don't you feel better about knowing those facts.

To get back on point, the Princess really likes to read.  Or to be more exact, she likes to bring me books and have read to her.  A lot.  A whole lot.  Like 1500 books a day.  Evidently my whole existence as Dad revolves around reading her these 1500 books a day on demand.  And to reach the M&M's.  But mostly the reading.

What I've noticed from reading 1500 picture books a day from an over demanding two-year-old is that many children's authors should have never learned to read and write.  Seriously, the only solace I get from reading The Twins Take a Bath, is that I hope one day the plot will magically change where one twin mysteriously drowns and a CSI: Miami investigation takes place ("I guess someone should have worn their water wings" *Carusoed!*).  It's because of these literary gems that I began to perform a bit of censorship on her reading habits.  Pretty much if I don't like it, it's being read by her mother.

Thankfully there are a bunch good children's authors.  If you, dear reader, find yourself living with a two-year-old, here are the top five from my list:

  1. Mo Willems: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
  2. Melanie Watt: Chester, Scaredy Squirrel Finds a Friend
  3. A.A. Milne: Winnie the Pooh
  4. Stephen King: IT, Salem's Lot
  5. Kevin Henkes: Chrysanthemum, A Good Day 
I even decided to get in the publishing game by sending out three of my stories that I tell Princess at bedtime, mostly to let her mother sneak off to the kitchen to do some J├Ąger shots.  I feel that while my life is complete with the constant whining of a toddler, I could add in a daily dose of rejection.  Unfortunately, most of my ideas probably are unpublishable.  Here's a sampling:

Jane and her Imaginary Fred: A cautionary tale in which Jane's imaginary friend, Fred, steals her identity and racks up $50,000 in credit card debt.

Billy's Big Day: Aspiring nuclear physicist, Billy Bombardier, creates a time rift where he creates an alternate reality where M. Night Shyamalan made suspenseful movies.

The Garden Bunch Does Lunch: Bobby Broccoli and the rest of the Garden Bunch helps Jesse stop his damn whining and eat his goddamn peas. 

Now that I think about it, these ideas are gold.  If I see anything like this on my library shelves, I'm hunting you down and prosecuting you to the fullest extent of the law. 


  1. Good call on #4 for the book list. Abby and I are halfway through 'IT', but I feel Salem's Lot is a bit too much for her right now. When she turns 3 next month, I think she'll be big enough to tell fact from fiction.

    On a serious note, Mo Willems is a fantastic author; Abby loves that "Time to Pee" book!

  2. Time to Pee is a wonderful book, much better than The Princess and the Potty. My favorite, however, is entitled Your Potty Training is why Daddy Drinks.