Tuesday, February 14, 2006

For the Egocentric in all of us

Veronica by Roger Duvoisin, c1961, 2006

Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Veronica frets about her anonymity amidst her fellow hippopotamuses. She longs to be noticed. She leaves her familiar riverbank and walks for many days until she reaches a city. Here she is "conspicuous" but after the initial novelty has worn away, she is left with no where to sleep, nothing to eat and finds herself in jail. Thank goodness for little old ladies in these stories. As in Babar, one rides to the rescue and sees to it that Veronica is returned to her old home where the hippopotamus is a legend for her exploits in the city.
Roger Duvoisin originally published Veronica in 1961. The book has been reissued.

Duck & Goose, written and illustrated by Tad Hills, 2006

This is a whimsical story about two young birds who argue over the ownership and care of an "egg" they find. "I saw it first" -- I touched it first." The reader is immediately in on the joke because the "egg" is larger than either one of them and is perfectly round and colored white with large polka dots. Of course it is a ball but neither one of them realizes this.
The illustrations are bright and the characters' faces are so expressive. Their bickering will be familiar to children's ears as will their reconciliation in face of the truth. This book is gentle fun.

Another book that highlights the "me first" in all of us is Helen Lester's Me First, c1992.

Pinkerton Pig wants to be first all the time. His rush to the front of the line is almost his undoing when he meets a Sandwitch.

Watching kids in elementary school line up is so instructional. We are all walking in a line to the same place. We will all pass through the doors within a few seconds of each other but kids will always squeeze in, step in front, and make a dash for the head of the line. Inevitably, there is a wail from someone in line, "Hey, he cut!"

We never outgrow it as my commute down a major Houston artery just proved.


Sherry said...

I like Veronica, too. My urchins and I especially like that word--"conspicuous." Such a nice word for little guys to learn and say.

Kelly said...

I thought I recognized "Veronica" from my childhood! Nice it is out again.

Catherine said...

Thanks! These look great. We definitely need to read "Me First!"