This week I’ve been faced with making ‘adult life decisions’ so naturally I’ve regressed. I’m expecting people to cut up my food for me, wanting to practice colouring in within the lines, pouting when I don’t get my way and most significantly I’ve been getting all moist-of-eye over my favourite children’s books.
My Dad was brilliant at reading to me when I was a kid. He knew exactly what I felt like hearing before I did and would always fully commit to doing all the voices (even as a 4 year old I recognised that half-arsed attempts at accents leave everyone feeling pretty uncomfortable.) I hope the value of reading to your little ones is never lost. To continue championing book-as-object, it’s where my obsession with reading began. I learned to trust my imagination.
I suppose one book that was poorly chosen for me was Where the Wild Things Are. I’ve only very recently stopped telling the lie that as a child this was a favourite of mine. In fact, it scared the crap out of me. Since Karen O and Spike Jonze covered it in cool my appreciation has grown, but, it has now evolved a different kind of fear; parenthood. The author, Maurice Sendak, has written a new book. It is based on an old character. I’ll l probably be frightened of this one too. Especially as he describes his own pig characters as ‘orgiastic.’ Good lord.
I loved the Tiger Who Came to Tea, Spot the Dog and Meg and Mog. Forgive my inclusion of the Youtube clip, but I wanted to add how creepy I find it when familiar kids’ books are made into animated series. Why use a middle aged woman to perform a hoot? I’m almost certain an actual owl would do a better owl. I mean, in what universe would a cat sound like that? If cats could talk they’d probably all sound like Alan Rickman. Maybe he wasn’t available.
There are of course exceptions to the rule. Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter is simply brilliant. I love me some JK Rowling, I’m not ashamed to admit. I’m well chuffed to be part of the official Hogwarts generation, reading the books as they were first published; sucking in the world of wizardry with pre-adolescent eyes, kicking myself for being born a stupid boring muggle. Goosebumps were another core element of my primary school years. I blame R.L Stine for my mistrust of sponges, next door neighbours, summer camps, hamsters, ventriloquist dummies, having my photograph taken, library reading programmes, large mirrors and old women called Clarissa. I just googled ‘where is RL Stine now’ and got a very informative response: ‘He lived in Canada just like Justin Beiber and a couple other celebertied.’ I definitely think Bieber and Stine hang out together. Collaboration please. I also found this and I’m keen to start a themed book group. We could alternate between Goosebumps and Sweet Valley High. Just to keep it real. Who’s in?