It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Grown-ups laugh at the weirdest things…

Our theme for the month is fairy tales. I’ve read lots of books and told lots of stories this month. Some have luscious language, some have luscious illustrations. Since I don’t stick to board books, or even the preschool section of the library, many were too wordy for this wriggly crew, and had to be shortened as we went, me telling the story that fit the picture and pretty much ignoring the text altogether.

THIS was one book I didn’t have to edit down. At all.

I loved it. The joke extends through the entire book, with the desperate dad making the stories shorter and shorter in an effort to get past “the end” to SLEEP! as quickly as possible. The joke is, of course, entirely lost on my crew, but I’d say children from about six on up will get the joke, as well as enjoy the stories.

I love the hints scattered through the text. At the end of “Small Girl, Red Hood”, the woodsman looks at the small girl and says, “Wow, I’m really tired, how about you?”

“Princess Pea” ends with this: “And so she married the prince. Is there a pea under your bed? Then what’s your excuse? Go to sleep.”

I think my all-time favourite is “The Old Lady’s Shoe”, quoted here in its entirety. (Which will take me roughly 63 seconds to type, I’m sure.)

There was an old lady
Who lived in a shoe.
She had so many kids.
She didn’t know what to do.
Stories were read
Until her face turned blue

When kids wouldn’t go to bed,
She sold them to the zoo.

(Wrong! 34 seconds!)

You know what this book is? It’s the precursor to Go the F**k to Sleep, without the all the f**k-ing. It’s more subtle (and thus, cleverer), and, unlike “Go the F**k”, it really is something you can share with your chidren.

Once Upon a Time, the End. Read it! You’ll love it.

(Your kids may not. Who cares?)

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January 25, 2012 - Posted by | books | , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Emily Gravett’s new Again! works the same territory with dragon child and father, and clever book design trick at the end to really ride it home. Fun!

    Comment by kittenpie | January 25, 2012 | Reply

  2. Are you trying to get me to spend even more on Amazon? Just bought “Animals Should Definitly Not Wear Clothing” after my 3 year old grandson woke his mother by announcing that birds are naked.

    Comment by jwg | January 26, 2012 | Reply

  3. You might also be interested in Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra. A little chicken won’t stop interrupting father chicken’s bedtime stories 🙂

    Comment by Brooke | February 12, 2012 | Reply


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