Sunday, July 11, 2010

Is it time to update the literary canon?

Illiteracy is a global epidemic; am I right? Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I pretty much always think globally while acting locally. It's called social responsibility, yo. Naturally, I am forced to look where illiteracy hits closest to home for me, and that is in my own actual, local home. I'll be blunt, friends: 50% of the humans residing in my house cannot read. I'm no mathematician, but statistics don't usually lie, and based on my numbers, over two fifths but less than five sevenths of the residers getting their reside on all up in my residence are just sitting there, staring at the pictures on the pages. I hope I don't need to remind you that we are in a recession here, and you know what? The books in my house have words. And you know what 50% of the folks in my house are doing with those words? They're wasting them.

I put out a call a little over two years ago back when only one third of the people in my house was a little non-reading freeloader. I placed all the tools she needed in the teeny palms of her drool-soaked hands. But, alas, apparently she had other designs. Nonetheless, as of a year ago, there is a new little freeloader in the house, and that little freeloader is about to celebrate a year of living on the earth, not reading his little heart out. In the grand tradition of leading my kids to water in hopes they'll open a successful seafood restaurant because their dad and I are really into seafood (and that's not an innuendo. He really enjoys scallops and I'll slurp up a plate of oysters so fast your pappy'll blush), we're handing the little guy his own ten works of classic literature ordered from the mecca of the literate, I'll share our finds with you. (Locally. Globally. Responsibility. You're welcome.)

1) The Skunk and His Junk. Now this is gonna be a good one. It's a skunk, sailing the high seas, showing off his junk. And you know that's gonna be some smelly junk. Is his junk supposed to be in that trunk? If indeed it's his junk in that trunk, how did his junk come to be in that trunk? Why has the skunk released the junk-holding-trunk? I'm on the edge of my seat.

2) The Golden Ass of Lucius Apuleius
Wha? Lucius has a golden ass? Now, I'm not usually an ass(wo)man, but this text is fascinating to me, 'cause that's a nice ass.

Our daughter is really into Dora the Explorer. She can sit there and stare at Dora pictures while putting forth little to no effort half- listening to her parents do all the work reading about the adventures of our gal Dora and her talking monkey friend Boots. So, we thought our son would like a tale about Dora, too:

3) Dora's Box - I'm intrigued.

4) Teddybears eat out - First off, both the spelling and the capitalization in the title of this book are atrocious, but, WHOA! THEY DO? What in God's name is going on behind that menu? Why are they eating out at a restaurant in which the servers provide one menu per two teddybears (sp)? Have you ever eaten at a restaurant in which the front of the menu actually said "MENU" as though you would stare questioningly at the food items, pictures, titles, and prices, unaware as to what exactly this thing you were handed as you were seated at your table was? This teddybears (sp) book is like a mystery which I cannot wait to unravel!

5) Blow Me Down! - Does this seem a little bossy to you? I don't want to provide any negative lessons to the kids. But, I think what drew me to this one was the adorable little scamp on Blow Me...'s cover. Just look at the size of his nose! Imagine what it would be like to blow that honker! I bet that'll soak a tissue, am I right?

6) No More Melons for Gilda the Giraffe - I'm a firm believer in not sugarcoating the harder lessons in life for today's youth. It's important to introduce literary tragedy to our kids, too. What happened to Gilda's melons? Was she born with melons that were later removed from her person (er - removed from her giraffe?)? Did the loan her husband took out for her new melons fall through? Look at the tear welling up in Gilda's eye. That's a giraffe worthy of melons. But, as the title tells us, there will be no more melons for our heroine. No. More. Melons.

7) Your Pet Beaver - He's a snuggly looking little guy, isn't he?

8) The Dong with a Luminous Nose - This one came free when I bought that Blow Me Down! book. Not clear why. I don't really know anything about it except it's a dong and it has a luminous nose. Uh?

9) A Rocket in My Pocket - I cannot wait to get my hands on this one. Just get a load of how patriotic that kid is. He's blasting off like a shot!

And, finally, last but quite obviously not least:

10) The Story of Big Bone Lick - Well, I don't like to speak for you, but I'd venture to bet that your whistle is just as whet as mine is after reading that title!

I hope our little guy gets some education from this library and has an unforgettable first birthday. And remember, pals: If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. So how's about you give our youth a kick in the pants to start reading for themselves for once. I know I will. It certainly does take a village. Yes, indeed.


Eric Ewald said...

Excellent, my amazon purchase is now complete. At least if my 7 year old can't read the books, I can explain to her the innuendos..

cory said...

Please let me know if his junk is actually located in the trunk. Or if the trunk is just a plot device to throw you off and he's actually put his junk somewhere else entirely. I'm dying to find out!!

C. Cocksedge said...

Be sure to take the young ones to the Big Bone Lick State Park. There they will get the FULL story. Do you know the park is known for their salt springs? Who would have guessed?

what's a donzer said...

Hey, Cocksedge. What are you trying to imply?

Cory, further comment pending until said junk tome arrives via Fed Ex to the palms of my eager hands.

EE: Have you considered books on tape? I have a feeling Dora's Box, the audio version, lives up to the hype.