For the Parents

After my last post, about  books for children approaching the first day of school, Charlotte (of the lovely and highly civilized kidlit blog Charlotte’s Library) commented:

“Yes well. You left out the fun for the parent as she tries to buy everything on the lists--worried both about the cost (I just dropped $60 bucks) plus the anxiety of being told to get a specific brand and type of glue and the biggest craft store around not having it but they told me that what they had was exactly the same thing but what if it's not????? And I bought the 6 four inch glue sticks as ordered but glue guns come in different sizes and although Ben was pretty sure it was the big kind we are not certain. If only I had not left it all till the day before. And we haven't tried to relocate the back packs yet, or put name tags on the spare clothes, or done our summer reading. Nor have we sat down and cooperated while our hair was trimmed.

“So where's the comforting book for me????”

Let it never be said that I don’t know a reader’s-advisory challenge when I read one. It took a few days, but Charlotte, I think I have a comforting book for you:

Voyage to the Bunny Planet, by Rosemary Wells. I wrote about this title a long time ago, in a multiple-recommendation post. But now it is back in print! Yes!! In an omnibus three-in-one volume! Everyone—even parents, or maybe especially parents, and most especially parents who are scrambling to round up school supplies and supervise summer reading and trim the hair of uncooperative offspring—needs a visit to the Bunny Planet, where we can all can have the day that should have been. And the bunny queen, Janet, is just the one to take us all there.

Also, while it’s not strictly a book—okay, it’s not a book at all—the song “Orange Cocoa Cake” by Lou and Paul Berryman perfectly captures that, er, delightful and action-packed pace of contemporary family life, from a parent’s point of view. To truly appreciate the song, it helps to hear the breathless (literally—it’s a patter song) delivery that Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer give it on their album A Parents’ Home Companion. (You can hear an excerpt from the song on their website.)

Now I’m off to make lunch, unpack the kitchen, and harass my kid into cleaning up all the birthday presents scattered around the living room floor. Toodle-oo!

August 31, 2008

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Thank you, Els! I look forward to visiting the Bunny Planet, where I have never been.

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