Tag Archives: children’s books

Loving Seuss on His Birthday

2 Mar

I had no idea how amazingly talented this dude was until I was older, perhaps when I decided to be a writer.

I mean really … who creates worlds like that out of the blue, and then pours them out on the page.

And then makes them rhyme.

And then illustrates these worlds with crayons that color outside the box.

And it’s amazing.

Dude.

Dr. Seuss would have been 111 years old today.

I remember growing up and going to the library on the hill, the one overlooking the baseball diamond, I headed to the small children’s section in the back and browsed through the books, figuring out which ones I would check out. I used to sit in that little corner for a while until my Dad came by with books of his own and it was time to check out.

I know a lot of people have their favorites. With The Cat and The Hat, Horton Hears a Who, or Oh, The Places You’ll Go! being at the top. They are pretty awesome books with a good lesson in every one, but I’d have to say that my favorite is The Lorax. I never been in GreenPeace or anything but I think it was a great lesson on caring for the environment and being concerned with how your presence can effect your surroundings.

The Lorax

The Lorax

 

But most of all I think I like The Lorax because he has a little George Costanza in him when things start to fall apart. I mean he tries the nice approach, but The Once-ler doesn’t seem to care about consequences and keeps growing his business at the expense of the environment.

And that’s when it happens … The Lorax hits his Serenity Now moment in hopes that it would change things, but it doesn’t work so he leaves The Once-ler to learn his lesson the hard way.

He reminded me of myself, because sometimes you need a little Costanza in you to get your point across. You need to get passionate and crazy to try to teach people to do the right thing.

I like the fact that this was a kid’s book and someone got a little heated. I liked that there was more than one dimension to the character, because I had more dimension. I had layers. And I liked that I saw that in the book and that it wasn’t a bad thing.

I read it to my kids. It was actually the first Dr. Seuss book I read to my son and enjoyed the fact that he gets caught up in the colorful Dr. Seuss world and appreciates the message. Although The Lorax wasn’t his favorite character, he seemed to enjoy the Brown Bar-ba-loots eating the Truffula fruits and the Humming Fished, who hummed. But his favorite character was the boy in the story, the one with the last Truffula Seed of them all. He seems to care a lot and that’s why he liked him.

And I like that Dr. Seuss exposed this side of my son.

What did Dr. Seuss do for you?

What’s your favorite character?

 

 

 

 

Green Scooby-Doo Balloon To The Rescue

21 Apr

I thought I had it all. I’ve become accustomed to thinking ahead. That’s what you do when you’ve got kids, or cranky adults. You prepare.

Festival of Books

The Festival of Books. It’s a huge event with massive crowds of book loving people who also like freebies and samples from the corporate sponsors. I’ve gone just about every year for the past eight years. But now that I have a three-year old and a nine-month old. The trip becomes more like a mission to avoid any meltdown from any child.

Coppertone Water Babies UVA/UVB Sunscreen 50 SPF.

Three Cuties oranges.

Two Ziploc bags of Cheerios.

One container of Gerber Puffs.

Two juice boxes.

Three pacifiers.

Two sippy cups of water.

One bottle of milk.

One apple.

One banana.

One Clif Kid Bar Z Crispy Chocolate Chip.

Two Clif Kid Z Fruit Ropes

One peanut butter and banana sandwich.

One diaper bag filled with baby essentials.

I thought I had it all, but it was out of my control.

After a meltdown-free morning of construction, train, and dinosaur book exploring, arts and crafts doing, and music loving under a blistering heat for three hours, we encountered the balloon. We had it for five minutes. The red balloon from the Chinese Dragon stall. Then it popped. Thin layer I guess.

I saw it coming. I got the look and then the shoulders slumped. The eyes got watery, the lower lip did the I’m-about-to-cry pucker. Then his voice cracked, and I knew it was coming.

I forgot to pack an extra balloon.

The crowd at The Festival of Books.

No worries we’ll get another one. After fifteen minutes of weaving in and out through the crowds, we found the stall. Sweet. No one was in line. However no one was in line for a reason. No more balloons.

I got the look and the shoulder slump …

I saw someone with a purple Scooby-Doo balloon. We raced back through massive pedestrian traffic past the Mystery Machine and found the chick passing out the balloons. There was no red. Just Mystery Machine colors.

Scooby-Doo Balloon

“Green. Mom. Green is my favorite. Red is no good.”

So after three Cuties oranges, one banana, one apple, half a peanut butter sandwich, two juice boxes, two bags of Cheerios, one container of puffs most of which trailed behind us courtesy of the baby, one bottle of milk, one Clif Bar Z Crispy Chocolate Chip, and two Clif Kid Z Fruit Ropes, it was the green balloon to the rescue.

We lost one sippy cup and two pacifiers in the process, but the green Scooby-Doo balloon is still in tact.

The green balloon that saved us floats among the crowd.

 

Note to self: pack an extra balloon.

 

I’m Living in a Dr. Seuss Book

5 Apr

“And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun.

Un-slumpling yourself is not easily done.”

I got schooled by Dr. Seuss tonight. My son’s bedtime routine includes reading three books every night before he goes to sleep. He picks two and I pick one. I often find myself reading Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, The Lorax, or something involving trucks or trains three times a week. At least.

We always get new selections from the library, where he’s supposed to be quietly flipping through some books on the lounge chairs while I search for new titles. Does it always happen this way? Of course not. So when I grab books-on-the-go because I’m trying to leave the library without looking like “that mom” with the loud kid that doesn’t have a mute button, and one of those books-on-the-go happens to be pretty cool, it surprises me. 

Cover of "Oh The Places You'll Go! (Dr. S...

Cover via Amazon

Even though my son missed out on much of the symbolic underlying themes of the book, he did enjoy the basics — the adventures — of Oh The Places You’ll Go! I had never read that book before, so I thought it was a badass serendipitous moment that it fell into my hands.

It’s basically about the journey — life, graduating to the next step in your adventure, whether it be preschool, college, PhD., astronaut camp or motherhood. It’s about the Great Balancing Act of Life and all the drama, peace, and triumphs that come with it — staying balanced with the ups and downs.

It’s for the people with “Dreamer’s Disease”. I have it. I inherited it from my dad. I hope my son gets it. I hope the baby gets it. Reading this will make sure he’s on his way, or at the very least introduce him to the phases of life.

The book’s got different stages and I’ve been through most of them and continue to visit these places in a crazy cycle that The Guat life provides. I’m currently in a slump, where I’m “un-slumping” myself, and Seuss is right, it’s not easily done. It’s a bitch.

Then there’s “The Waiting Place,” for people just waiting … everyone is just waiting for things to happen. I’ve been passive like that too, but then I snapped out of it and moved on to the next roller coaster ride … “ready for anything under the sky.”

Now I’m living the “Great Balancing Act,” sometimes I fall … off a jagged, cliff and flat on my face. Other times I have badass moments of success, like The Warrior Dash.

And I ride those moments until the next great thing happens … and I remember the most awesomeness place … success. Oh yeah, I’ve been there, but not recently. Prior to the Warrior Dash, the bus hasn’t stopped on that corner in a while, but I remember what it looks like. Dr. Seuss reminded me.

“And will you succeed?”

“Yes! You will indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed”.

“Kid, you’ll move mountains.”

 Giddy up!