Monday, October 25, 2010

Dear Literary Characters In My Kids Books...

We read a lot of books in our house. My youngest son, Happy will have us read three or four books a night, and we usually knock out at least three chapters of a "big kids" book for Lefty and his big sister McGee before I'm either tired of reading, or Lefty will -- with his last bit of awakedness -- tap me on my arm and say, "Stop here, Mommy. My ears went to sleep..." and then he's done.

There's been plenty of times, like when we were reading Harry Potter for the first time and I had promised not to get ahead of them so we could all be surprised and scared and excited together, and Lefty would stop me and I'd be all, "WHUCK?! We're right at the part when they're about to find out who the Half Blood Prince is!!" and then I'd sorta cheat and keep reading and they only found out because I fell asleep in Lefty's bed with the book open to a page that was like 127 pages past where I had stopped. Now they take the book away. Little Snitches.

But after all these years of reading and just going along with it all, I actually do have a few questions:

Dear Jack & Annie's Parents, 

We know you're sorta around. We hear you beckoning them for PB&Js and that it's time for a bath or bed or stuff like that. And I think it's super cool you built them a Magic Tree House (that apparently you still don't realize is magic).  Mostly I think this is awesome because I always wanted a tree house but we didn't have trees where I grew up. We had cactuses. [Editor's Note: I KNOW. That's not how you say it. But I'm tired of saying, "we had cacti..." because then people squinch up their faces and wonder if antibiotics were necessary. I'd rather them correct my grammar than think I'm harboring germs. -Kate] And trust me when I say you don't want to climb a cactus. My sister Bianca once accidentally stepped on those dome-y looking ones to make a phone call at a pay phone, and instead of the spikes just breaking under her, about ten jillion of them stabbed through the bottom of her sneakers into her foot. Umm, who's bright idea was it to put a cactus in front of a pay phone?

Anyway, I digress. Aren't you a little concerned? If not for the fact that your kids go venturing off into the world at random hours, but that -- well, don't you feel like, when they're gone that time kinda comes to a crawl? Or, possibly stops?? Because when I'm left alone in my house, I don't know what time vortex I hit, but that time vanishes! I barely get to enjoy the silence and WHAM! they're back. Wait. They're gone for hours, but to me it feels like seconds?? Crap.

Well, now that I've figured that one out...any concern that your tree house vanishes? No? OK, then.

xoxo Kate


Dear Runaway Bunny,

I think you possibly may need a spanking.

xoxo Kate


Dear Victoria's Secret,

I know. You're a catalog and not actually a story nor do you remotely resemble literature. But Happy is like the mail thief and when I come into his room to read to him, he's got this giddy look of anticipation on his face and I'm all, "what book tonight, buddy?" and he whips it out from its hiding place and is all, "THE BOOBY BOOK!" and then I'm like "ewww, you're already hiding the Victoria's Secret catalog in your room?" and abjectly refuse to read The Booby Book as a bedtime story. So then he just evicts me and his Daddy is more than happy to read it and all I hear for the next 25 minutes is "Oooh, boobies" after every turn of the page and stuff like "...straps can be configured seventeen different ways to..."

I guess what I'm asking here is, maybe tell a story? In the margins perhaps?



Dear V. H. Caterpillar,

It would be super if you just ate the whole apple or strawberry or even the chocolate cake. Because my four year old thinks it's just fine to take one bite of something and then leave the rest and move on to the next yummy food that crosses his path. And, frankly, I'm tired of grabbing an apple out of the fruit bowl and finding his teeth marks in it.

May I suggest a slight edit: "In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf. One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and POP! - out of the egg came a tiny and very hungry caterpillar. He started to look for some food. On Monday he ate every bite of the dinner his mom made for him and didn't complain at all. The End."

By the way, Lefty learned about you at school, and taught his little brother that when you turn into a butterfly, you're "pupating" -- super. That doesn't sound gross at all.

xoxo Kate

PS You also ate through my book. There are holes everywhere. Can you please send a replacement?


Dear Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle,

First, I love you and wish you were real because I would send the my children to you on a regular basis. And the truth is, I use a lot of your lessons, like the Teeny-Tiny Biter-Takers Cure and the Talker Backer Cure, minus the parrot; I just mimic them and it seems to work.

And a lot of times, all I have to say when they're acting like rabid monkeys (is that possible? Mental note: Google rabid monkeys) that I can just say, "Oh, I think it's time we re-read about Mrs. PiggleWiggle and what we do when everything is mine mine mine..." and then they stop because - apparently -- they like your lessons better than mine.

Oh, and I give you a really awesome voice. You're British, by the way. And one time, a colleague from work called my house and Lefty answered and he got all BIG EYED and yelled, "MOM! MRS. PIGGLE WIGGLE IS ON THE PHONE!!!" and was super excited and then scared because he thought that meant I had called you to fix them. Which just goes to prove that I do an awesome British accent.

So, beside the fact that I feel that your feet are far far too small to support the rest of you, I really only have one question. Xanax? And, if yes, what's the dosage? [Editor's Note: It's a follow-up question. That's *totally* allowed. -Kate]

xoxo, Kate

Finally, just as an aside, I'd really love it if someone would do a mash-up of all these books. I'm pretty sure it would be awesome. I wonder what Mrs. PiggleWiggle would say to the catalog models. I have a feeling it would be something called the No-Jiggle Button-Up Cure and the Magic Tree House could take them to TJ Maxx for a shirt.

Oh yeah:

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010


  1. Freakn hillarious!


  2. Re: Google... Except the ability to calculate the distance between here and Again-istan!

  3. LMAO I love the monkey with the gun in the google search! You ladies make my day every day that I read your blog. A friend just introduced me to it a few days ago and I think my husband is starting to worry. He'll come home from work (he gets home late, around 11 usually) and find me sitting in the dark laughing hysterically (sometimes even snorting) with a few wine stains on my shirt from where I missed my mouth. I wouldn't be surprised if he's googled local loony bins to send me to. Anyways, I love you ladies!

  4. Mrs Piggle-Wiggle could give the Booby Girls the Eat-Every-Bite-Or-I'll-Force-Feed-You-A-Paperboard-Book Cure.
    THEN she transports them in the Magic Tree House to LL Bean for sweaters, Mom jeans, and muklucks.
    When they all come back, if the BG's are ungrateful snitches, she can turn into a sandwich and smack them upside their heads!

    Now have a carrot...and a t-box.

  5. Ha! I feel this way when I read to my son. Like in the Berenstain Bears book "Go to the Doctor": Since when does the doctor call the kids from the waiting room, then weigh and measure and take their temp, isn't that what the nurse does. Also what kind of crazy Lawsuit are they asking for letting ALL of the other kids in the room to see Sister Bear and Brother Bear get shots IN THEIR UNDERWEAR?! And why does the doctor prescribe Papa Bear (anything, she is a pediatrician) antibiotics for a cold?!

    I have yet to read a Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book, but I think I might have to, esp since I think I have all of our books memorized!

  6. Totally just laughed my ass off. I found you recently via SDL, and am loving the stuff you guys write! :D

  7. I'm going to make a drinking game around "If You..." know, "If You Take a Mouse to School" or "If You Give A Moose A Muffin". I have spent days of my life reading those. I might as well make it a challenge to read it right?

    And you didn't mention "We're Going a Bear Hunt". I cant hear anyone say, "it's a beautiful day" without muttering, "we're not scared", which makes people sidle away from me surreptitiously. Apparently reciting childrens books to yourself semi audibly does not convince people you have a firm grip on reality. Huh.

  8. "THE BOOBY BOOK!" Bwahahahahaha!!! That's hilarious!!!

  9. This is wonderful. I love Mrs. Piggle Wiggle too. Her feet really are too small. The hungry caterpillar if he were really hungry won't just snack on a lot of things.

  10. jack and annie almost made me drive off a bridge after listening to "Jack said," "Annie said," "Jack said," "Annie said," for 3 frickin' hours on cartrip. I have one bit of advice: ABRIDGE THE FUCKER.

  11. I have read some of those books out loud so many times that my mouth goes on autopilot and tells the story without me! Thank you for the laugh to start my day...Mrs. Piggle Wiggle called your house! HAAA!!

  12. I was reading a Mickey Mouse book to my son last night. In the book Mickey tells his nephews that there is no such thing as elves or leprechauns and all I could think was 'but he is supposed to believe in a giant talking rat??' lol.

  13. I still want to know where the heck Max and Ruby's parents are, what the heck the man in the yellow hat does for a living, why Amelia Bedelia hasn't been fired yet, and who in their right mind takes a monkey to a museum?

  14. Hilarious! I have so many questions, too. How about this one:

    Dear Old Lady from Goodnight Moon:

    Does having an open flame in a toddler's room without a fireplace screen seem like a good idea to you?

    Those cats are going to destroy your yarn,

  15. Geez, people! Suspension of belief here - Please! ok, just kidding...pretty funny stuff in this post and wierdly enough, makes me MISS reading to my little girls. I hope that all the hours I put in of reading inane (sp?) books will make them feel grateful enough to read aloud to me when I'm 104 and drooling into my pea soup.

  16. And where the hell are the parents for most of the Dr Seuss books? The kid just walks down to the pet store, picks out a fish, and is left alone to deal with the mess ALL DAY??? What about the "Put me in the zoo" kids??? Hmm?

  17. Love. This. Post. Right now, we are reading a book with a boy and his Airedale who communicate via ESP. Regarding baseball. And yes, the book actually says "Airedale" and "extrasensory perception." The struggling reader did not do well with phonics on either of those phrases. Thank you, Matt Christopher (who I suspect is not a real person).

  18. How to wash a rabid monkey ... can you make your next post about that?!

  19. Dear Kate... I can so relate... My husband always gets totally annoyed because I like to tell the characters/authors what I think of them as I am reading to the kids... I do it in movies and while watching the news too though so I think my kids are used to the crazy lunatic of a mother God gave them:) You'd think my husband would be too:)??

  20. This one always bugs me: In Clifford's Birthday Party, none of the guests have shown up by the time the party starts, so Emily Elizabeth and Clifford go down to the park and find them all there, together, because apparently no one felt like they had a good enough present to give Clifford, so they just decided not to come to the party. And then, EE totally regifts things to other guests during the party, as Clifford is opening his presents! Nice manners, Norman Bridwell. I hate your books anyway and only read them because my kids think Clifford rocks. He is kinda cute.

  21. To piggyback on chacha's post...I personally believe that the original Dr. Suess was some 20-year-old stoner on Ecstasy. What sober adult could write the line "Four fluffy feathers on a fiffer-feffer-feff" (Dr. Suess's ABC's) and actually expect it to be sold?

    Anyhoo, I agree. The only parent I recall in any Dr. Suess book was in "The Cat in the Hat," and she only showed up at the end of the book. The kids in that book dealt with some psychotic six-foot-tall feline-type-thing who brought two little gremlins (Thing 1 and Thing 2) into the house, while the kids' goldfish was the voice of reason during the whole thing. Makes you wonder what the moral of the story is...Listen to the fish, because he knows best? Whuck?!

  22. Lol! How about "Everybody Poops"? Although I loathe that book, I have successfully used it to potty train all 3 of my kids. Seriously cracks my husband up and he reads it to the child being trained like 3 times a day. It makes me gag. But you can't argue with success!

  23. My kids love it when I read "Everybody Poops". They insist that I read it aloud. In church. And when I read it quietly, they get mad. So now it has mysteriously vanished. What a shame!

  24. I've always wondered why the old lady in the corner was saying "hush!". No one was saying anything out loud...

  25. We must've watched and read every Max and Ruby out there, and I've always wondered about their parents too, the only adult in the stories is their gramma

  26. HILarious! and adorable, as per usual. a thought. victorias secret is soft porn and, i mean, there's studies, you can easily google it, kids exposed to porn at a young age are more likely to have sexual addictions (and later violence) when they are older.

  27. Just one other comment about The Runaway Bunny. Does anyone else have a hard time keeping a straight face as they read "If you are the wind and blow me..."

  28. who names ur cildren? happy? lefty? did u name them cuz u wer happy wen u had dem so u named him happy and u musy b lefthand cuz u name ur child lefty very clever




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