Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Too Pissed to Write About Politics

I am spent.

Withered. Tired. Frustrated. Angry. Sad. Hunched over. Saggy. Clenched. Stunned. Weakened. Wilted. Drained. Weary. Stupefied.

But. I. Am. Not. Defeated.

I was going to write about my thoughts on the election tonight. Yeah, I know. That's really rich, right? Totally a topic from left field (literally). More specifically, I was going to write about the nonsense of the "Women for McCain" signs I've seen popping up. Oxymoron or just moron? I was also going to write about the touchy subject of being friends with McPain supporters, particularly those you might not have pegged to be Cainiacs. This has hit me square in the sternum like a burlap sack of stolen $100 bills.

Alas, I cannot muster up the gumption to take on such heady topics tonight. I'd like to sleep on this lovely 60 degree night (with the window open...nothing like a clean, cool breeze to soothe the soul, the added snuggle with Mac Daddy is a bonus), and a bushel full of McPain debauchery will prevent my body from a much needed restful slumber. But don't worry, my bitching will be back in full force and then some, especially after a good night's sleep.

Instead of my usual political tirade, I'd like to share some snippets about a few authors that make me gloriously happy. These guys are family favorites who are guaranteed a seat at our dinner table any time. Even on short notice. Consider this your invitation. We will surely require replacement books before Bird and Deal hit second grade. Oh, you better believe I'm gonna have double copies to pass on to my grandchildren one day in the far, far, far future.

Todd Parr
Graeme Base
David Wiesner

What? You have not heard of these guys, the Triumvarite of Children's Authors? The guys who give Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak a run for their money? Well, now you have no excuse. Run, don't walk, or drive, as the case is in my town where one cannot walk anywhere, to the library. I'm betting you'll have to put your name on a waiting list, but it's so worth it.

Todd Parr's books have whimsical illustrations and cover topics such as making friends, adoption, fitting in, first day of school, feelings, and differences among people. He hits on these heavy topics with a genius stroke of simplicity and poignancy. His dog Otto is the star of the series, and his quirky antics are guaranteed to plaster a smile on your kids' faces. When Deal had trouble with separation issues at school this week, a Todd Parr book did just the trick to make him laugh. He's partial to The Feelings Book. Appropros for my sensitive little guy.

Graeme Base is a divine illustrator. When Mac Daddy and I got Animalia as a baby gift for Bird, we sat down on the couch and pored over every page. Nevermind that Bird was only hours old at the time. The clever gift giver clearly knew her shit and applied some foresight to the gift, shunning another noise making, squeaking, cloth book of clowns and hippos. Animalia is a superbly illustrated alphabet book that makes Where's Waldo look like, well, Where's Waldo. Bird now takes Animalia to bed with him and searches for the hidden pictures until his heavy lids get the best of him. The coolest part? Graeme, we should be on a first name basis by now, hides an illustration of himself as a young boy on every page.

David Wiesner somehow manages to write books with fantastic storylines, characters, and plots but no words. His books are fantasy to the Nth degree. Fabulous illustrations tell intriguing stories of wonderment. Page turners to the young and old sets indeed (not that there are any old people in this house!). His imagination stands alone, and he inspires others to see outside the proverbial box we let society cram us into. Tuesday has already lost its cover. Flotsam is dangling by threads. These are hardcover must-haves. Thanks to David Wiesner, we look for cameras on the shore instead of shells when we head to the beach.

So there you have it, a few of my favorites. Our love of reading must be contagious because Bird and Deal devour books. That PBS PSA about reading to your kids for 15 minutes a day is clearly not meant for us. Mac Daddy and I get cotton mouth and dry lips from all the reading we do. It's imperative to keep a tall glass of water at your side if you ever read to my boys.

What other imaginative authors who can spin a mean tale am I missing? Enlighten me, please.
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Anonymous said...

for a person who is spent, you sure wrote very eloquently. as for me, i'm so tired that i can't even capitalize the first letters of my sentences...

no worries, obamaman will bring this home.

Whit said...

I hear you on the friends with McCain supporters who hadn't pegged as such. It makes me wonder what else they're hiding :)

OrangePolkaDot said...

We're big Wiesner fans over here as well. And sign me up for the book collecting for future grandchildren club - I'm right there with you!

Anonymous said...

The boys have a reading program at school, 20 minutes a night or 100 minutes a week. However, we are like you that is peanuts for us.

Have you read Roald Dahl? The boys like his books.

Can not think of the author of Strega Nona, but those books are good also.

There are lots of others we read, but now I have to come up with the names I can't.

You did a fine job of expressing yourself for someone so tired. I was the same way yesterday. I just wanted to lay on the couch with the door open and read!

Anonymous said...

We love books at my house too. I am an avid childrens book collector way before my son was born, in fact the shelf is full of my books that I share with him. Ilian laughed when she saw them. Tomi Depalao is the author of Strega Nona and he is a great author. I have to agree that Tuesday is an awesome book and also books by Greame Base. I am exhausted and can't think of any other books, I just love so many. Oh, I Love You Forever will always make me cry, by Robert Munsch and his other books are hilarious too.