Monday, April 18, 2011

The Magic Mustache, vermiphilery, and Henny Youngman reads Mother Goose



One of the great things about writing children's books is how the books engage with their audience -- an audience of children, yes of course, but also with their parents, and the whole family. The books often have a way of entering into the family's own culture, sometimes connecting to their language (phrases from the book become part of their own particular familiese) or with activities or interests. I've had many reports that my The Racing Worm Brothers has been an accompaniment to families' worm-related activities and obsessions (as indeed it was inspired by my sons' vermiphilery.) And there is a special place for story and for books in families. Bedtime stories are a particularly intense and intimate moment of shared imagination, shared immersion in story and mood. My book, The Magic Mustache originated in a bedtime story that I improvised for my son Aaron.

Altogether, it's been a delight how these books find a place with their audience and continue to do so, years after their publication. People take these books out of the library and continue to read them. I find it very gratifying.

Today, my trusty Google vanity search henchbots found this discussion of my children's picturebook, The Magic Mustache at the blog, My Mama's Goodnight. In the sidenotes to the blog, the author notes how the elder of her two sons reads Captain Underpants to his younger brother in the voice of Mick Jagger. Now I'm thinking about which famous voices I could match with which stories. Tom Waits reads Anne of Green Gables? Marlon Brando reads Goodnight Moon? Jean Chretien reads Now We Are Six.

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