As I've mentioned before, for a long time I've wondered just when it is that kids get to adult books. I mean, there have been adult books woven in there for a long time now: Calvin Trillin (perfect), James Thurber, bizarre parenting books. But as with all things child-related, we haven't exactly moved along the linear path I expected. I thought a person might go from board books to Ballet Shoes to The Secret Garden to The Hobbit to, I don't know, Stephen King, to David Lodge (is this making me sound crazy?).
Instead, I watch people go from alphabet books to Nate the Great to the Boxcar Children, back to alphabet books, a mercifully brief foray among books featuring the Olsen Twins, back to the Boxcar Children, an intense Animorphs affair, then Warriors, then too widely varied to really make sense of: fantasy, manga, Cooks Illustrated, the Clique books, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy…and so on.
And then, without warning (or do I mean, with far too much warning but what the heck am I going to do about it?), a new true love: Mimi Smartypants.
I…I don't know what to think. I mean, I love to read Mimi Smartypants. She's funny and smart and interesting, but—as with so many other things in life—I guess I feel like, "This isn't what I expected at all."
I appreciate that the kid has taste. And there wasn't really anything comparable when I was coming up. I was filching Fear of Flying off my mother's bookshelf. And my poor, narrow, only-thinks-of-things-in-relation-to-itself brain doesn't quite know how to make sense of this since I don't have a similar experience. I've watched her build a library over the years, it's just that I never expected her to come up with a blogroll.
Sure it's nice that when she says "Please, please, please, could I just use your computer to look at…" it ends with "mimi smartypants" rather than, say, "cute overload." It's just…I don't know what it just is. Is it that it's so obviously grownup that it freaks me out? Is it a vision of the person she is going to be?
When I ask her about it directly, she says (delightedly) "But she and I have the exact same sense of humor!"
Why can't I get my head around this new reading phenomenon? Do you guys know?