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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Clumsy, Tabby and Moon

November 9 2014

We had a post nap mini Mr. Men marathon, via YouTube. They were the original series with the charming primitive animation and the sublime narration by Arthur Lowe. As a kid, I'm not sure how many of the Mr. Men books I had but I know I watched all the original TV shows. I often hear myself reading in the style of Arthur Lowe. The current TV series doesn't quite get the style of the stories in my opinion, although the few we've seen have the occasional bit of good humour. If you have never experienced the originals, here's one of them.

Our first book at bedtime was a Roger Hargreaves Mr. Men book. It was book number 28, oddly enough they made 28 TV programmes and Mr. Clumsy never made it to TV, although he does appear in Mr. Fussy above. As far as I know Mr. Clumsy is the only Australian of the Mr. Men. It only says he is in Mr. Fussy, not in Mr. Clumsy. Anyway, I went with an Aussie accent for the character. We haven't read Mr. Clumsy before so Linus was getting a feel for it. It's a middling Mr. Men book, not the funniest or great story but it is relatively fun. It also introduces the concept of clumsiness. Possibly something we miss on the Mr. Men is that often they introduce concepts that may not necessarily be that easy to grasp.
Mr. Clumsy is also one of the few Mr. Men with hair, apart from those with hats (of those I only know one who has very limited amount of hair), the other two are Mr. Fussy and Mr. Perfect. He's also one of only eight who wears shoes (nine if you count Mr. Bounce!).

Our second reading is the flowing verse of Julia Donaldson's Tabby McTat . Axel Scheffler's illustrations caused Linus and I some difficulty as we couldn't find a squirrel. There is one though, what a relief! We're not over familiar with Tabby, but it does have a good check list. There's a song, some cat love, busking, mugging, hospitalisation, parenthood, loyalty and more squirreled away in this little book. Strangely cats don't seem to get much in the way of picture books, they appear here and there but dogs tend to get a much better deal.

I tend to go with shorter books to end with and hopefully one with a calming element. Margaret Wise Brown is a go to for that type of book. Possibly the most famous children's book in the US is Goodnight Moon by Brown, with pictures by Clement Hurd. Dating back to 1947, my parental head is a bit muddled as to whether I knew it pre Linus, but I don't think I did. I can see shoots of Sesame Street in this book. The "goodnight nobody" page is so random and perfectly silly. Linus can pretty much read this himself now, although not as well as Brown Bear, Brown Bear. This morning he'd picked up his copy of BB, BB and was reading every page out loud, it was super cute, especially when he got to the round up page at the end and realised he'd missed out the horse and had to go back to it. I should add that he wasn't actually reading the words, I'm not one of the parents (who seem to frequent parent Facebook pages) who claims my child popped out of the womb walking, reading, writing and politely asking if he could pop to the toilet in 6 languages.

Anyway, more of Eric Carle's Brown Bear another time I'm sure, for now, goodnight mush!

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