Tag Archives: Charles P. Rogers
Bedtime Stories: If Your Kid Likes Trucks…
Post by Mark T. Locker.
As a librarian, is my solemn duty to supply and recommend books with little regard to my own personal feelings towards them. Although this is a safe space where I am free to discuss, or avoid, any books I so please, sometimes I feel a nagging obligation to bring up books that others may like, even if I hate them.
I for one do not care for trucks. Or backhoes, or steamrollers, cranes, diggers, or cement mixers. I am glad that my son, by and large, does not care for these things either. Nevertheless, we find ourselves reading the odd truck book from time to time and although they are very popular, we always walk away nonplussed. Anyway, here are two selections.
Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker. Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.
This book has been the talk of all the picture book and children’s book magazines and sites. Basically night has come and all the trucks, diggers, mixers are…going to…bed. Each animal is wished good night. That’s about it. If you or your child enjoys reading about all the different construction vehicles, this is a great choice for bedtime.
Truckery Rhymes by Jon Scieszka. Illustrated by David Shannon.
This book is sillier and funnier than the construction site book. Jon Scieszka has taken many popular nursery rhymes and rewritten them to be about characters from his popular Trucktown series. “Pop Goes the Weasel” is rewritten as “Pop Blows the Diesel” and “Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater” is now “Peter Peter Payload Eater”. Again, if you like trucks, this will definitely be fun to read. If not, it will become quickly tiresome. But hey, it’s not for me! It’s for the children!
Movies in Bed: Charlotte’s Web
Post by Josh Zinn.
Recently, whilst trolling through the myriad cable channels available to me, I happened upon one of the hallmark films of my childhood, the 1973 animated version of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. While I am apt, in my adult life, to quote from this film more times than I usually care to admit (“It says CRUNCHY”) it had been some time since I had actually WATCHED the gentle little saga of a frightened pig named Wilbur and Charlotte, the spider whose life becomes dedicated to preserving the safety of her friend.
Anticipating clichéd retro delight in being able to relive memories of the gluttonous rat, Templeton, as well as rousing karaoke renditions of “Zuckerman’s Famous Pig,” I was caught unaware in my realization as to how much Charlotte’s Web had informed my childhood self about the then very-adult ideas of kindness, loss, and mortality. Granted, there’s plenty of sweet-natured humor and a healthy smattering of vocabulary words (“radiant,” “humble,” and “Smorgasbord” were all knowingly dropped into many of my youthful conversations), but beneath the film’s pork-pink exterior beats the heart of something far greater. More than merely a cartoon, Wilbur’s tale presents parents and children with an opportunity to understand and discuss the machinations of their world and the importance of staying true to themselves in spite of oppositions they may face. It’s heady stuff, no doubt, but crafted in such a way that the film never talks down to kids, but rather, with care and respect.
While it may be true that, as a child, I was as equally enamored with Scooby Doo meeting Sonny and Cher (what a great episode! Zoinks!) as I was with Charlotte’s Web, the impact Wilbur’s story had upon my life far exceeds that explosive alignment of the stars. Sure, the beat may go on, but in the end, there’s no denying that is some pig.