I was upset when I went to the postoffice for my last G’ma Bookclub mailing. They didn’t have colorful envelopes anymore! I’m hoping it’s just that one branch, or they were out temporarily (the clerks didn’t know). I was surpised at how sad I felt. When I texted Ben, he seemed to shared my upset. Catie comes home from school, sees those bright patterned envelopes and knows there’s a G’ma book waiting.
I had to ask myself the question Catie’s parents often ask her–Is this a big problem, or a little problem?
It felt big, but may be a little problem further questioning has me hoping these envelopes are just on order and will arrive at some point. Also I found a temporary solution as the pen store next door to the post office carries shiny envelopes so after having to send in a dull brown paper envelope, I posted these two books in a bright red shiny package.
Catie, like every child (and many adults), is a Pigeon lover. Mo Willem’s Pigeon is a character who speaks up in situations with which children can identify. Many of his books invite them to particpate in the stories, responding to his protests with such verve that they become characters in the stories.
In this ninth adventure, The Pigeon Needs a Bath (Hyperion, ages 2-5), the Bus Driver (Pigeon’s nemesis) appears on the first page garbed in robe and shower cap. His speech bubble hooks listeners immediately: “Hi!”, he begins, “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the Pigeon is filthy. So, I could use your help, because: The Pigeon Needs a Bath.” Willems’ excellent sense of time and visual humor is immediately apparent for these last few words turn into the title page, At the corner of that page appears dirt-smeared Pigeon who responds: “That is a matter of opinion.” Humor continues until the book’s end as Pigeon approaches readers with his usual wheedling, conniving, philosophizing, and denial. He seems to be the only unawarre of the flies buzzing around his filth. Catie loves her baths, but she’ll appreciate the humor.
Of late Catie’s mommy has sent several pictures of her newest pleasure. Reading books to Zach while he’s in his swing. I imagine her doing this with Karen Katz’s What Does Baby Love? (Little Simon, ages 6 months to 2 years). Board book pages with heavy flaps follow multiethnic characters through their day. They appreciate mommy’s tickles, noisy toys at playtime, bubble baths, blueberries for dinner and finally, cuddles with teddy!