Thursday, August 25, 2011

Canadian Book Challenge 5: Getting In Touch With My Inner Canadian Child

It hasn't been that long since Canada Day and I've got awhile till the next one, but I still remember snatching defeat from the jaws of victory (11/13 books) at the end of June.  I will read 13 this year!  I must.  What's an American girl to do with only one book down and the end of August approaching?  What's the answer?

Robert Munsch.

Armed with my library card, I marched into the Sedalia Public Library* (this could also serve as a "Library Loot" post)  and downstairs to the children's department.   I found some Munsch books and brought them home.  I was back in time for Jeopardy!  Oh, Alex, Alex -- I'll miss you so badly when I go back to Korea.  Ahem.  Anyway, I read these five books -- after Jeopardy! -- last evening:

1. I Have To Go! - When asked, Andrew never needs to pee.  Suddenly, when it's most inconvenient (during car trips or when he's dressed in an elaborate snowsuit) he needs to go RIGHT NOW.  As usual, Michael Martchenko provides a capable assist with his hilarious illustrations.

2. Thomas' Snowsuit - Thomas doesn't want to wear his new snowsuit because he thinks it's ugly.  His mother manages to get it on him and off to school after a battle, but when the teacher and principal take him on, mayhem ensues.  Munsch and Marchenko win again.

3. Show and Tell - Ben decides to bring his baby sister to school in his knapsack for Show and Tell.  She starts crying and no one -- Ben, the teacher, the principal, the doctor --  knows how to soothe her.  The last page, an illustration by (you guessed it!) Michael Martchenko is a laugh-out-loud fest for Munsch fans.

4. Andrew's Loose Tooth - Andrew (the same Andrew who couldn't pee at convenient times, but older?) has a loose tooth that no one can seem to pull out.  Even the Tooth Fairy (a cool and crazy biker chick who has baby teeth dangling from herself and her motorcycle...I never get tired of giving shout-outs to MM for his artwork) is at a loss to know what to do.  Finally, Andrew's friend Louis comes up with a creative solution.

5. Get Out Of Bed! - Amy stays up all night and watches TV from the Late Show to the Early, Early, Early, Early Show.  No one in her family can wake her, and they are due at work and school.  Finally, they bring her and her bed to school and her class carries on as usual over the sound of Amy's snoring, then her parents and brother fetch her and the bed back home.  My favorite line is uttered by her older brother:  "If she never wakes up, can I have her room?"  This time, the illustrations were by Alan & Lea Daniel.  Very nice -- not cartoonish, more like paintings -- but I missed you-know-who.

Was it wrong of me to leapfrog ahead in the challenge, reading books that ranged from 23-30 pages long?  Probably.  Sorry (or "soar-ee", as the Canadians themselves would say).  I promise that my remaining 7 books will be more serious, more thoughtful, more challenging.  I can't say they'll be more fun, though.

* I feel compelled to praise the Sedalia Public Library for its fragrance.  Built in 1901, this Carnegie library has that bouquet of age and pages that would make even the most experienced and blase of bookworms heady with delight.


John Mutford said...

Totally acceptable to use Munsch books. Of this list, my favourite is Get Out of Bed, even if it isn't Martchenko. I just always loved reading that one to my kids and they liked it more than many of his others as well. Though I do admit, read to many Munsch books in a row and the formula gets to grate on your nerves.

Don't forget to add these to the August roundup.

raidergirl3 said...

You gotta read the Munsch. If it counts for the challenge, all the better.
My favorite Munsch's are The Mudpuddle, Pigs, Murmel Murmel Murmel, and of course, Paper Bag Princess.

Thomas' Snowsuit is a book that got lots of notice when some schools banned it, due to Thomas defying the principal. Seriously.

Unruly Reader said...

If the Sedalia Public Library could successfully bottle that fragrance, I'd buy it. That lovely old book smell takes me right back to the free and easy reading days of my mid-elementary school years. Bliss.