17 June 2009

Children's Book Phrases of Which I Am Sick

He was a good little monkey, and always very curious.

"You wait here, George, and don't get into trouble."

It is easy for a little monkey to forget.

As only a monkey can . . .

Can you tell we are in a Curious George phase? I do love reading to Maddie and Riley and I am glad that they love to have me read to them and I understand that repetition is the Way of the Toddler, but yikes. Between reading the same books over and over and the fact that the George stories are the very definition of formulaic, I am getting weary.

It's Riley who is the real George afficianado. Maddie has more eclectic tastes, although lately she favors Arthur. Am I alone in my desire to smack Arthur's sister, D.W.? What does D.W. even stand for? And why must she have such an irritating personality?

A propos of nothing, how funny is it that UkeFest 2009 is taking place on Reed's campus this week? It's pretty hilarious to see all of these ukulele players wandering around campus, and small groups jamming in the corridors. I guess the organzier is a Reed alum and it's a sold-out event. Pretty awesome.

34 comments:

Sara said...

i "found" you through Melodie's blog.
i teach Kindergarten, so i can tell you that DW stands for:
Dora Winifred (wouldn't you go by DW, too?). She is annoying..the stereotypical little sister, I guess.

Shosh said...

curiuos george irks me. my 5 year old loves the books but i hate the message. be curious, don't listen to the rules, get into trouble, and then something exciting will happen, like you'll get to be in a movie, even if you do have to break your leg in the process.

what? the logic is lost on me

mek said...

Oh yes...Curious George and Arthur - the PBS juggernaut! We only have one George book - and that is okay with me. But, now we are moving into books with alot more words, and I kind of miss the one-sentence per page ones that you could get through in under 15 minutes. ;)

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

Ah, "The Monkey Book!" Also a big favorite in our house, although it hasn't gone into heavy repetition yet, luckily.

No, it's "The Little Engine That Could" that drives me to the edge.

Although, as annoying as it is, it has made toothbrushing a bit easier. Once I invented "the little toothbrush engine that could," my son finally agreed to consistently open his mouth for the toothbrush.

I find a lot of things that I would have detested pre-motherhood -- Elmo, musical toys, anything Disney -- are now just mildly annoying. It seems my son's enthusiasm does wear off on me a little.

B.E.C.K. said...

When my son was about 1-2 years old, we had a Curious George book that he loved. However, I never read the exact words to him. Instead, I abbreviated the story and had him fill in the key words I left out: "One day George looked out his window and saw some..." (Kiddo: "DUCKS!") I cheated, I know, but it made the stories go faster and kept me from going nuts from reading the same book over and over. ;-) (Oh, and lest anyone think I inhibited the kiddo's reading ability, he's always read far beyond his grade level...despite the storybook-shortening.) :-)

Rachel said...

Ah, George. Yes, the repetition gets old, but still a favorite around here. Love the one where he gets high in the hospital. Don't think that would happen in a current children's book.

Anonymous said...

I learned something today! I always thought that DW stood for Dorothea Winifred.

I'm a big fan of Arthur and am sad that my 5yo has given it up for Bakugan.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA....my guys are teens now so long is the day of Curious George....however, I LOVED him, repetition and all. Note to Sara - I get what your saying but I never was a "curious" child even after loving Curious George books ;), it's really ok. Arthur is a newer book since mine were little but I have seen/read and laugh out loud with responses on DW.

Lizard said...

the repetition phase gets soooo tiring. I ended out setting rules like "mommy will not read any book more than twice in a row" which saved my sanity. I am also very careful about which book I will allow in the house- for example, we are a Goodnight Moon Free Zone because I hate that book with a venom usually reserved for much more serious things. Something about the "goodnight nothing" where she couldn't be bothered to come up with a rhyme or change the original object just makes me want to kill myself.

DW is supposed to be annoying. She's the preschooler-PBS-squeaky clean Bart Simpson, I think.

here's a book rec-- I found it at Powell's on Hawthorne a while ago, and we love it-- The Bunnies Are Not In Their Beds. It's darling. Just as mischievous as George, but much sweeter. And no serious, deadly hijinx.

you will find lots more fun stuff at Reed-- there will be many jugglers, and wait till Renn Fayre. Really. Nothing can compare.

Lynnette said...

Dora Winifred. I can't believe I know that...could be it stuck because I have a dog named Winifred (Winnie). I hate how all CG book start with: "George was a monkey who was very curious."

Anonymous said...

There are certain books I have had to "lose" to keep from losing my mind. Have you read any Skippy Jon Jones? They are a RIOT and if you can do a spanish accent, your kids will hoot with laughter. Give them a try!

liz said...

See if you can sneak in a different Rey book, like Katy No-Pocket (which always had me wondering if Katy adopted Freddy, because how did she have him if she doesn't have a pocket?)

Katy No-Pocket pluses:
1) try reading Mrs. Crocodile with your mouth stretched wide like hers. It'll crack up your kids every time.
2) Read Mr. Owl like Grandpa Jetson on the Jetsons - you know, loud and scratchy. Again, a laugh riot.
3) When the book says "UPSIDE DOWN" actually turn the book over.

CG will go by the wayside.

Caps For Sale is another one that chased CG off the favorites list for a while.

CV said...

I thought the new George book we gave you was going to keep you sane a little longer. sorry.

Last night N got in bed/tent at 9 pm and picked for her story that foam book with 4 pages and the animals that fit like puzzle pieces. I was thrilled for such a short selection.

Then, when she was tucked in and quiet after the book she says, "turn the light back on. the animal book isn't a STORY." (nice try, kiddo, let's start rock-a-bye...)

And I just read the other comments - someone actually hates goodnight moon? I can't remember, did you hate that one too? I used to be a doubter but after many readings, I'm a convert. I suggest LIZARD give it another few tries before writing it off. It's brilliant if you watch the pictures.. where's the mouse now? is mama in the chair? where did the kittens go? It captures the goodnight routine pretty well, actually. And to suggest that Margaret Wise Brown was cutting corners with "goodnight nobody" ?! Really? I feel like my own mother has been insulted. LIZARD, send me your address, I'll send you MWB's Little Fur Family, you'll see the error of your ways.

buddha_girl said...

DW? She need a good smack. I think Buddha would do it for free.

Buddha and I went to the local library not far from our house yesterday and both enrolled in the summer reading program. Both have different expectations - one would hope so! - but the prizes we could both earn just by doing something we love are GREAT. One prize? $100 gift card at our local mall. Barnes and Noble's in there, so we'd undoubtedly spend that booty on BOOKS.

We read four books last night. One of them, Kisses for Daddy, was GREAT. The kid bear doesn't want to get ready for bed and kiss his parents. He throws a fit but is distracted by Daddy bear. I wish it was that easy sometimes. Buddha had been in the throes of a stupid fit about the very same things and was a love by the end of the book.

The UkeFest? For real. I would love to be there if only to be surrounded by the fun peeps!

buddha_girl said...

Oh - you must get I Love You, Stinkyface if you haven't already. We love that damn book!

shmo said...

I read "Goodnight Moon" so often that I memorized it. To keep it interesting, I recite it along with sign language. We've been signing with Jonah since he was about 6 months old, so he actually retains a lot of the signs.

kindsfather said...

The boys (now 4) have been in the Curious George stage for almost a year now. I am really getting tired of that damn monkey...

Kristin said...

I believe she's Dorothy Winifred, and no, you're not alone. I hate that obnoxious little twerp. Every time she yells, "HEY!" I want to put my foot through the TV. (That's why we don't watch much Arthur here.)

Split-Second Single Father said...

Most children's books these days are obnoxious, but then, so are some of the older ones. Case-in-point: Goodnight Moon. I use it to reinforce vocabulary with my younger students, but we rarely read it at home. (For variation, pick up a copy in Spanish - it's at least fun to read).

But there's a MWB book that's even worse than GM. It's called Red Light, Green Light. It's even more pointless than GM and was "lost" at our house shortly after it was given to my daughter.

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Oh I hear you! Somewhere I have a post in progress on kids' books that I hate as much as I hate potlucks, and that is a lot!

Early warning: keep Junie B. Jones (basic chapter books early readers) out of your house. She's a little bitch!

I've also been cautioned from housing any of the post-Milne Winnie-the-Pooh products (books, movies, etc. Though I think we have a puzzle...).

This coming from a Mom who allows all 7 Disney princesses AND Barbie. So you KNOW I'm serious.

X

Supa

Angela said...

My son loved Curious George, my daughter not so much. But they both loved Arthur and even though they are 11 and 8 they still sometimes watch it. Yes, D.W. is whiny and a know-it-all but the sibling rivalry stuff definitely rings true.

CV said...

I'll take DW over Caillou any day of the week - or how about just the female narrator's VOICE on caillou? ugh...

victoria said...

I have 11 and 8 year old boys and a 4 year old girl...my husband calls her D.W. sometimes...She is annoying, but very little sister like - especially when you're the older sibling! We call my sister in law Muffy. LOL.

Anonymous said...

I just want to know why 98% of children's books must contain the word "gasped". For some reason I can't easily say that word and it drives me nuts. Ruins the flow of the book. Seriously...98%.

Anonymous said...

I like reading Arthur a lot better than I like reading C. George. The George books are so full of awful things - like the one where the firefighters put him in jail! All we need is for our kids to be afraid of firefighters, that is very useful, I'm sure.

Cheryl Lage said...

Truth told, I do love me some George...although I DID paraphrase (before the kids could read) in CG Gets a Job when CG "wishes he were dead." A bit archaic and WAY too much fodder for already dramatic children.

Although when my daughter was in the ER for a broken arm (at age 2) she asked the nurse if she would get to drink some barium. (you know, according to CG, it's white and sweet...she was fired up at the possibility.) I still laugh at that one...and second the Junie B as bad example. UGH. (Caillou was too, little whiner...)

Kristin said...

We are in a serious CG phase too. I love the PBS show, but find the books a little annoying. Just written for a different time period, I guess.

Christine said...

My 17-month-old son adores the cartoon Curious George. He's absolutely fascinated. I'm home two days a week, so watching it with him in bed gives me some downtime first thing in the morning when I'm still waking up.

On an earlier post note, I am so glad things are going so well for you. You sound happy and excited. So nice when someone who deserves it gets good things happening to them.

Anonymous said...

I dont mind reading curious Geoger except that it is soo politically incorrect! Why would a little monkey who was happy in the jungle need to be taken to a Zoo "which he will like very much". Poor George..Couldnt he have just been curious in the jungle with all the other animals! I prefer the stories of Hairy Macleary from Donaldsons dairy.. all rhyming but no negative messages

Fairlington Blade said...

Not a complaint on phrases, but hopefully a story worth telling. We're raising our twin boys with English and Spanish and so we've got books spilling out of our ears. I was reading one of these, El Sancocho del Sabado, the other day. It's the story of a little girl and her grandparents. When there's no money to buy ingredients for the sancocho (it's like a stew), they take a dozen eggs to the market and do a bunch of horse trading, eventually getting everything needed for sancocho.

The story is engaging, it's good to get the kids interested in food, and it seemed like a good, healthy dish (chicken, onion, carrots, yuca, corn, cilantro and such). So, for the first time, I made a meal from a children's book. There's a recipe at the back and the boys LOVED it.

Cheers,

Paul

Maria said...

I love the idea of Ukefest, though I'm also glad I can't attend.
On DW: she's much more fun to read if you do the voice as a snotty sorority girl.

Amy said...

Being sick to death of the Curious George formula, I now read them like this, "George was a good little hippopotamus, and always very thirsty." Much hilarity ensues. Try it!

NotCarol said...

DW is equally annoying on screen.

My daughter is in a big Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa faze. Also Fancy Nancy, which I really enjoy, and the Little House books for kids with lots of pictures. Oh, and Biscut...Woof, Woof.

Deborah said...

Glad you're safe and sound and where you should be. I HAVE to recommend a couple books we read over and over. My daughter is now almost 9 and she still loves these books after many years, and the pictures are just beautful:
The Sleepy Book (we used to count the different animals on each page, and it really did make her sleepy) and
Little Brown Bear Won't Go to Bed (just lovely pictures and a sweet story and at the end we always tried to decide if his adventure at the beach was real or it was all a dream, for he had sand in his eye in the spring morning)