epbush

11 days to launch – The books of my childhood AND YOURS!

In Uncategorized on February 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Yesterday, in the day 12 countdown post, I commented about how I loved looking for The Gold Bug in Richard Scarry books. That got me to thinking about a questions I was asked this week in an interview:

What would you have loved about Her Majesty’s Explorer:  a Steampunk bedtime story if it had been given to you as a child?

Here’s what I said:

My first blush answer to this question was a glib, “My parents reading it to me.” That’s what kids love – their parent’s Big. Fat. Quantity time. But it’s more true than that. Kids love to have a part of what their parents do. I see a lot of people at conventions who HAVE kids, but leave them at home for any number of reasons (sometimes mommies need to get away, wear a corset and get their drink on, ya know? No mommy wants their kid to see THAT.) Like I said, there are some aspects of Steampunk that very small kids just won’t understand. BUT, there is a theory of development out there that says it is VITAL for kids to go play in their parents closets in order to become adults. They need to dress up in the hats and scarves, and in our case, goggles and boots, in order to LEARN to become adults. They play at being like their parents. That being said – I think the parents get as much out of sharing a Steampunk picture book with their kids as the children do. I’ve gotten several comments from reviewers who have said they shared it with a child (ones of their own, a niece / nephew, or the kids of friends) and were thrilled to finally be able to share this aspect of their lives in a way that the child could understand and get excited about. The kids REALLY feel that joy of connection coming from the grown up, and that makes them want to do more. My daughter wants to dress up as an airship pirate, because *I* dig the scene. She bops with Captain Robert and Abney Park because I play it on my laptop. Now, she has her OWN book – and it connects her to mommy.
I have a feeling that this story will be what some adult Steampunks show their own parents to show the gentle side of the movement… or to their “other” friends…. or their co-workers.  (The WHOLE interview will be on M.K. Hobson’s blog on the 28th – and I will get a link up about that in time, but let me plug her right-here-right-now! Read her novel The Native Star. It is one of the BEST Steampunk books I’ve ever read – a very American tale as well. Go on; I’ll wait…)
This Q&A got me thinking about my favorite children’s books:
  • Like I said, anything by Richard Scarry
  • Who’s Mouse Are You? (Wacky / creepy book in shades of orange)
  • How High is UP? (A quite book in shades of blue – but some of my FAVORITE images – ever)
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • All the Dr. Seuss EXCEPT Cat in the Hat
  • The Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  • The Snowman by Raymond Briggs (It has no words – only pictures!)

Alternatively, books I hated, and still do:

  • The Bernstein Bears (It’ s the primer for gender roles)
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • Curious George (He always get’s rewarded for doing the wrong thing.)

I’m glad my list of likes is twice the length of hates. So, what’s on your list?

  1. My favorites books as a child were the books of L. Frank Baum, including The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1899) on through to Ozma of Oz (1920). In all, there were 14 books about Oz.
    Today, my favorite books are Magician of Oz, Shadow Demon of Oz and Family of Oz, and yes, they are my own books. Can I help it if I love my work? Later this year, The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu comes out and me thinks I’m gonna love it as well!!!

  2. As I said in my review of HME, I grew up with my parents reading Dr. Seuss and Judy Blume’s Fudge books to me. Eventually, I started reading to my mom because I got annoyed by her paraphrasing. I also had a TON of Little Golden Books because my parents always bought me one when they went to the grocery store. I also have a giant book of Richard Scarry somewhere and my Grandma has a ton of picture books from my childhood because she used to be a Kindergarden teacher.

    I started reading Harry Potter and The Princess Diaries series when I was in late elementary and early middle school respectively, but one of my very favorite books when I was in 7th grade was an anthology of retold fairy tales called “A Wolf at the Door”. I read the stories in that book a million times each, especially Neil Gaiman’s poem “Instructions”. I recently re-read a story I read a few times in middle school called The Other Shepards and while the plot twist that was a big shock to me at 12 was fairly evident at 21, it still held a sort of magic that made it one of my favorite books growing up.

    EDITOR’s NOTE: find her review HERE:from 2/10/2012 http://lieselhindmann.wordpress.com/tag/emilie-p-bush/

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