Kids Bookbox #1: Dr. Seuss Has A Lot To Answer For
Look, I read a lot of books on my own but I've also got a healthy posse of crotchgoblins, so it occurred to me that poking into the weird and wonderful world of Children's Books or more precisely, the books my children sometimes charm me into reading (when they pick good ones) or force me into reading (when they pick the bad or interminable ones) and so because Kids should do shots (like Bookshot) but they do drink plenty of juice boxes, when given the opportunity, Kids Bookbox was born and for this inaugural edition of what I'm sure will be an intermittent feature on the blog, we're going to look at an interminable book and a charming book.
So, first up: the interminable book.
Let's leave aside the tiresome Culture War Brain Worms that had the internet all in a tizzy about Dr. Seuss being canceled sometime last year. The fact is that every parent should probably realize by now that Dr. Seuss has a lot to answer for and not necessarily in a good way. Yes, they're classics and of course, I don't mind reading books like The Cat In The Hat or Green Eggs and Ham to my kids, but we have to face facts here: Dr. Seuss's books are long.
We're talking like thirty to forty pages long and okay, they've got like two to three sentences per page, so it's not exactly Tolstoy here, but it's still more of a time commitment than you probably remember them being and if you're trying to hurry the bedtime process along (and come on, parents, be honest: who amongst us has not 'creatively' edited a bedtime book or two in our day?) guess what? Dr. Seuss books don't lend themselves well to creative editing at all. They're exhausting to read aloud and to do so quickly. But there's one book that's the worst offender of them all and it's this one:
This is the worst goddamn book in the history of Dr. Seuss books. Yes, that even includes the sketchy racist ones from back in the day (like Tintin In The Congo, you can't find those damn things. Your crotchgoblins won't bring those to you to read.) Not only does this book take a million hours to read (because that's the point of the book- by the time you are done, your kid will be asleep. That's the idea anyway.)
But not only do you get to rhyme fun twee rhymes about fun twee creatures like the 'Foona Lagoona Baboona' but you get this page:
For real. Zoom in on your phone and read that page. For a start, if you've got a slightly twisted mind, it's disturbing on multiple levels- but even if you're not slightly cracked inside like me, it's a damn tongue twister that goes on for two goddamn pages. I hate this page. I hate this book. Dr. Seuss has a lot to answer for.
Next up, the charming book.
My kids have so far not discovered A Series of Unfortunate Events or the Artemis Fowl books- I'm not sure why. I never read them either as they were a little after my time and sort of mixed up in The Hunger Games/Harry Potter era of reading and I just never read them. Nothing against them. I've seen bits and bobs of the movie here and there. Haven't checked out the television shows on streaming either but, what I didn't know was that the Lemony Snicket did straight-up kids books.
This was Kelvin's find from the library and both he and Lachlan love it. I've read this one multiple times and it's... charming. There's no other way to put it. It talks about bad moods in a way that kids can understand and how bad moods can go from person to person- but the addition of the stick is a nice contrast. The bad mood gets all the action, but the stick is just kind of there. It really works. Plus, there's a man who takes his pants off! There's a raccoon! There's a wedding! There's a butterfly! This book quite literally has it all plus the illustrations (by Matthew Forsythe) are gorgeous:
They're not fancy, but they've got soft lines and a sort of glow about them that really adds to the overall charm of the book. If you have a chance to check out this book and read it- do it. If you need a good book to gift someone with crotch goblins, I can highly recommend this one.
Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book (0/10, Avoid If Possible)
The Bad Mood and The Stick (8.5/10, Absolutely Charming)