Saturday, January 13, 2007

Kid Stuff

I'm about a third into Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children. It's good so far, but I'm already able to predict some of what's likely to happen. I think I'm liking the small scenes more than the big story arc. The scene with Thwaite and the undergrad in the bar. The scene with Marina and her dad in the study. And, am I already sensing the off-center relation in "Bootie"? Must there always be the more-damaged-than-initially-appears character in a novel aspiring to a certain level of importance? I'd just like to state for the record the following: in real life, if you pay any attention, you can always spot such individuals right off. They don't fool you; they don't surprise you; they don't shock and awe you. Instead, they tend to elicit from one simply an "of course you do, dear," a sigh, maybe a raised eyebrow, and then a polite distance. Still, I'll keep in it till the end.

In some real kid stuff news . . . being hypervigilant, academically-intense, overindulgent parents, we now subscribe to One More Story, which is a supercool online library for children with a neato "I Can Read" function. Given all that it offers, it's also somewhat of a bargain. If you have preschool kids and $40 burning a hole in your Vera Bradley, I encourage you to check it out.

And, we've discovered Jack Prelutsky and his scranimals (e.g., the radishark, the potatoad, etc.). What a clever guy! We now spend some dinners trying to create our own involving the foods on the table. Our best so far . . . the carrottweiler. He's also collaborated with some beautiful illustrators on these books, including the incomparable Peter Sis.

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