Every time we go to the local library we let the kids pick out their own books. My daughter tends to pick to a theme. She likes to get a Geronimo Stilton book - if they have one she hasn't read. She also likes to get an Arthur book. She'll then grab five or six random books she pulls out of the racks. But she will also make sure to pick up one or two non-fiction books. Either an Eyewitness book about the planets, dinosaurs or castles. Or a Nature's Children animal books.
I've mentioned the Geronimo Stilton books before. It's about a anthropomorphic mouse-world where the lead character - Geronimo - runs a newspaper and solves detective mysteries. There is a TV series of it that my daughter has only ever seen 15 minutes of. The TV show would actually be more preferable. Reading is usually always better. But the television Gernomio we saw used his brain, thought things through, used logic to solve problems and seemed to have an element of adventurous curiosity mixed with bravery. The book Geronimo is a depraved, randy coward who spends each book hiding from things whilst constantly banging on about how great it would be if the latest female would let him touch her mouse-hole. If you wanted to write a children's book about a mouse who worked for a newspaper and was rapist you could take 2/3 of the text in these books and it would be suitable for that purpose. Honestly - there are entire pages of text that are just grunts, moaning and disturbing, muffled, lip-biting, primal wanking noises as the lead character rolls around on the ground unable to cope with how creepily horny he currently is. Either the author has some disturbing unresolved issues with women. Or this is how he healthily is able to release all the tension inside of himself over a possible weird mouse-humping fetish. It's genuinely quite odd. Still don't believe me? Then please see the below randomly chosen picture of the stuffy middle-aged hero sniffing cheese-scented underpants that he hopes the latest female partner/victim doesn't see lest she describe them to the police.
The Arthur books aren't really worth mentioning. My daughter doesn't really like the TV show. It's a very safe PBS/NPR middle class type show. As in the kids wear sweater-vests, collared shirts- and I think I've even seen bow-ties. You know - just like real kids. It's also chronically poor at animal biology. For example the description on Wiki is that the show , "revolves around the lives of 8-year-old Arthur Read, an anthropomorphic aardvark." Now, this is Arthur.
And this is an aardvark.
Clearly the author/illustrator of that program has never seen an aardvark. But on the bright side - unlike the previously mentioned book - he doesn't spend 1/4 of the storyline having his main character weep semen onto himself as he perversely hides behind a bush fantasising about the 75th different female of the book series that he'd like to breed all over.
The Narure's Children books are cool. Each one is just about a various animal, insect or whatnot. My daughter isn't picky at all and just plows into the big blue shelf-stack at the library and pulls out whichever one her fingers stop at. She's had bighorn sheep, river otters, cockroaches, grouse, Canada goose, dugongs and all sorts of insects. And of course the delightful Boobies book that allowed me to be cheeky to the librarian. At the moment she has one out about anteaters. The books are basically just educational books with nice photos and information about what they creatures do, eat and get up to.
The Eyewitness books are for older kids.The book actually says you have to be at least nine years old. They are much wordier and the subject matters more complex. A lot of their subject matter involves context and being able to understand time and space a lot. So understanding that something occurs in Australia only - which is way over there - or 3000 years ago. I actually really like them and my daughter seems to enjoy that they make her think about things. The one we have out at the moment is called Castle. To be honest I'd forgotten we had it out so hadn't read it. Add my daughter is currently quite into us reading her The Crazy World Of What if? book she has. It feeds into her likes about learning things, understanding how different things work, whilst also asking ridiculous questions that make her laugh. So in a section about how bones and muscles in your body work it asks how people would be different if they had wheels instead of legs.
Anyway - the Castle book was found and handed to her mother yesterday. My daughter currently misses her mother a lot. Each day after work they sit on the front couch and read to each other. Lately my wife has been quite busy (as in Friday she went to work at 6.45am and came home at 945.pm - and she's in work as of 5am this morning on a Sunday) so I've been filling in as a surrogate. But she was home yesterday so happily sat down to read whatever passed my daughter's fancy. So a nice loving lfuffy sit down with Mommy. Three minutes later I heard my wife explaining why a particular medieval war device was effective at decapitating the enemy. I tried to watch my daughter to see if each of the eight ways this was colorfully described made any negative affects on her face. Didn't seem to. She would just point at the page asking what something is and her mother would say, "that is a huge pot placed on top of a castle wall so you cant pour hot burning liquids onto people below." After the umpteenth use of the word, "murder" and a lengthy explanation about death by burning, her mother did refer to prior conversations they'd had about war, killing and how people don't seem to be very nice really. Her mother also managed to point out that perhaps this book isn't really all that suitable seeing as it seemed mostly to be about how people killed each other in countries that might have a castle in it. I probably would have put it down then and got another book. Maybe about a fish or a frog on vacation. But oh no - she still bravely plowed on though - explaining that window-slits are useful for hiding behind and firing arrows at people. Granted she did move onto the really cool stuff about clothing, culture, food and paternalist hierarchy. Still - next time she asks if I think it's appropriate to mention people behaving like arseholes (in general vague terms) I'll remind her of the tableau of death and torture in that book.
Anyway - let's finish on something light. It's my daughter's Sunday morning Danceoff. Oddly she was subdued and more interested in making the songs. Every time I put the camera on she'd stare into space or dance half-heartedly. Almost as if she was traumatized in some way. Perhaps by rodent perverts or medieval massacres. Thankfully ten minutes after taking this video she went for a poo shedding light onto her mood. By the way - she's taken to yelling, "I NEED HELP PIPING!!!" now - which is actually worse in many way. Anyway - here's some lethargic dancing with poo in- situ.