A six-year-olds take on Of Mice and Men: Continue reading
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir)
By: Jenny Lawson
“This book is about a mousey king that dances. He dances all the time. He just dances like this (she gestures moving her arms up and down like a vampire trying to go-go) He lives in a small cottage with another mousey – the queen. She doesn’t dance, she sings. It looks like a silly, funny book.”
I presented my child with the cover of the Twilight. Yeah, I couldn’t help myself. The odd thing was? She knew what Twilight was. I am not one of the legions of Twilight lovers so it wasn’t like she saw me around the house reading the book. But when i asked her what she thought it was about she boldly stated “Vampires!” Yes, Twilight is on the radar of kindergartners.
What did she think that Twilight was about – besides blood sucking teenagers?
“It’s about poison apple and a dude – I don’t know why but I think it’s about a boy and a girl. It looks like it would be creepy and sad. But mama, I do know that it’s about vampires. But in the story is actually about a girl who eats a poison apple, but she doesn’t die. A witch gave her the poison apple. She almost dies. But the dude saves her.”
Hello. I am this little girl’s mom (the cutie not-really-reading No Exit to the right). Recently this particular six-year-old had a really bad cold and there was no way she could twirl off to ballet camp to spread her germs and cough all over her tutu. Instead she helped mommy with her work.
I asked her to assist me with an article for Babble.com (my day job where I wax not-so-very-poetically about Suri Cruise, Brad & Angelina and parents who leave their kids in the car while they hit the bar). I had an urge to incorporate two of my favorite things – books and my precocious daughter. I asked her to “Judge a Book By Its Cover.” She said yes. But for a price. She wanted in exchange for her “work” a set of Calico Critters (she ended up with a pair of little Beaver figures named Zack and Sandy). She may only be six but she already has a strong work ethic and realizes the all important power of work+payoff = toys equation.
She looked, she judged, I wrote. And apparently – totally unintentionally – we pulled off some hot internet viral action. Seriously, it took about an hour. It was a way – for me – to do something creative instead of the regular news, Suri, rinse, repeat that has been my blogging life, plus I really wanted to know what she thought and I love to engage and incorporate her in anything I do. We’re always playing games like that – “What kind of animal would you be,” “If you had your own planet, what would it be like,” “go ahead and draw all over your leg with a Sharpie, it’ll come off eventually” type stuff . She loved doing the project and has no idea that people are writing about her. But for me, it’s been endlessly fascinating to read total stranger’s critiques of my parenting. And not to brag – but hell, I’m gonna - my daughter’s experiment in judging books by their covers was covered by an eclectic and esteemed bunch like:
Then there were the tweets of the story by some pretty sweet sites like NPR Books (“Here, here’s something adorable to cleanse our collective palates: a 6-year-old judges books by their covers!”), The New Yorker’s Book Section, 826, my husband, Random House, my BFFs, Penguin Classics, Harper Books (“hilarious!”) co-workers, Simon and Schuster and some girl who goes by the name Jenny.
My kid really had a hoot doing it, and apparently, people like reading what she had to say. The public has spoken. We’ll continue to have her judge this that and the other over the next couple days, weeks or months – that is until she’s sick of doing them that is.