And where are the Sam Halloween pics, btw?Good question. Funny story about that, which I think will serve as a set-up for this post. So as to conserve my precious storytelling energy, I may as well copy and paste from the email I sent Doppelsis on this very subject:
In the days leading up to Halloween, Sam seemed really psyched about the whole thing. He was excited about his costume [a train engineer, complete with pocketwatch, walkie-talkie, and awesome hat], and he'd perfectly memorized the whole trick-or-treat drill. He woke up on Halloween morning raring to go. Or so he had us believe.And so goes the complex inner life of today's modern toddler. So you can imagine what it's like trying to pick out books for one. ("Aha!" you say to yourself. "There's the segue!" It's true. You've picked up on my subtle writerly devices.)
He didn't get further than half a block from the house before Rusty had to bring him back, wailing his guts out. I think part of the problem was that, in all our discussions, we'd talked about having him carry one particular flashlight. At the last minute, Rusty thought (correctly, but since when does a toddler care about what's right?) that a smaller flashlight would be a better idea. He attempted to make the switch, and the change in game plan made Sam blow a minor gasket, which signalled the beginning of the end.
We somehow coerced him into his costume, but by the time he and Rusty left the house, we were starting to get trick-or-treaters. I suspect Sam thought I was throwing some kind of big candy-related hootenanny without him, and he was confused and angry that I was kicking him out of the house. Which is totally understandable when you think about it.
I am, of course, guessing at
50% 75%100% of Sam's motivations. Who can claim to know the mind of a two-and-a-half year old?
Here is a partial list of books I've picked up recently, on my own, for Sam, all of which were dismal failures:
Madeline in London
We love Madeline. We love Madeline's Rescue. I don't know what Sam has against London, especially since he recently informed me that he wants to be a Beefeater when he grows up, but there you go.
There's a Wocket in My Pocket
This is the first Dr. Seuss book to freak Sam out. I think it might have been the Vug under the rug that did it.
Tikki Tikki Tembo
I can't even speculate as to why Sam doesn't like this book. We've read it only once, and ever since then, if I suggest it, he yells "NO!" and makes sure to file it away on a bottom shelf.
Sam likes a bunch of Ezra Jack Keats's stories, as I've mentioned in the past, but this treasury of ten classics by Keats did not go over well when I brought it home from the library. I know this because Sam tried to open the front door to put the book outside.
Lost and Found
Rusty and I both love this charming story about a boy and his pet penguin, which makes it really hard to fight the urge to tie Sam down and force him to listen to it when we want to read it. It's not unlike that feeling you get when you're trying to convince an otherwise quite intelligent friend to try a book you love, and you can tell they're not buying what you're selling. And then you punch them.
But sometimes I have my small victories, and these I cherish. To wit:
In Italian, "pezzettino" means "little piece." This story is about a little square (literally, the character is a red square) who goes around trying to find out if he's a piece of something bigger. Holy friggin' cow, does Sam ever love this book. The first time we read it, it was like he'd found religion.
The Mr. Men and Little Miss series
I think what Sam likes about these books is that they're so small he can carry a bunch of them at once. And he really likes the back of each book, where every character in the series is pictured and named, and he insists on having each one identified. Every bloody one. Every single time we read one of the books. And even when we don't.
Katy and the Big Snow and Maybelle the Cable Car
Duh... books about anthropomorphized heavy equipment. Even I know these are a no-brainer for your average mechanically obsessed toddler.
So now, given what I've told you about Sam's literary preferences these days, any suggestions? The holidays are coming up, and I have shopping to do.