Now, it should be clear to anyone reading this blog for even a minute that I like children's literature. Not to the exclusion of grownup literature, but still—I'm happy to pick up (almost) anything either of my children is reading and check it out. Perfectly content.
There are times when I'm just done with it. When I can't stand the portentousness of the fantasy novels or the eager earnestness of early chapter books, and heaven knows I can never bear (in particular) the sugary, evil, robotic, forced-nice agenda of Strawberry Shortcake or the equally horrific My Little Pony. I shiver with disgust even remembering reading those.
But what's a parent to do? I mean, even if we are the conduit for the books kids read, the books aren't meant for us, nor should they be. And when you have a very nice little person getting all warm and sleepy and friendly with you, and they want to cuddle up and read a book with you after a long day of slogging through this hard old world, who can find it in their heart to say no?
It is for these troubled times, friends, that I offer you grown-up reading that will work for children, too.
Now of course, who knows whether my children like to read these books because they're great books that everyone will love, or because they happen to groove with a particular idiosyncratic taste in my kids. I can only say that 1) they worked for us, and 2) they are an absolute pleasure when you can't stand another kid-centric thing for one second longer. Behold, a small assortment:
I have no idea why Diana goes for these, but I can tell you that nothing gives her greater pleasure than for the two of us to sit down together going over a particularly brutal set of product reviews of say, vinegar or tea (neither of which she will ever try).
Adult's book? Kids? Who's to say? But to go through these with Chestnut is eminently satisfying. And while they're not necessarily narrative reading what you want, they're a heck of a lot better than…Garfield.
This, along with American Fried, has given me untold hours of real joy with Diana. We discuss, we ponder. She likes to read certain sections aloud (particularly about "Fats" and a certain cold that prevented the tasting of a soup) and it's just all so amazingly enjoyable great that it's as if any time spent in the saccharine clutches of Ms. Shortcake—why, it's as if that never happened.
But of course, these are things that happened to be lying around the house that found their way into our parent-child reading arena. And no doubt, you have other sanity-savers of your own to share? Please do. We all need them.