Weekend Reading (& Then Some)

(A wink and a nod to Laura Numeroff.)

If we read some books this weekend...

Chances are, Mommy will want to clean...  (Look at that fan!  Ack!!!)

If Mommy wants to clean, then Little Sis will kick her shoes off under the couch in rebellion...

Which will lead to a Barbie and Pony free-for-all in the family room.

And if there's a Barbie and Pony free-for-all in the family room, then Mommy will want to tear her hair out want to clean that, too.  And chances are...

If Mommy has to clean, she'll want a book to curl up with afterward.

Merry Weekend!

We have more Ponies.  Many, many more ponies.

My Little Ponies, drying off after a pleasant swim in the tub.

First Grade

I am the mother of a first grader.  How unreal.

Yesterday, she was a tiny baby, who refused to sleep unless I held her.  An early talker, a late crawler, a baby ballerina, a preschooler, a kindergartener...

True, she is almost a year older than I was when I began first grade, due to the August 31 cut-off.  Wow.  She turns seven next month.  SEVEN.

I took her shopping for one perfect back-to-school outfit on Tuesday.  Wednesday morning, we woke early and went out for breakfast.

Spinach and bacon souffle!

Little Sis is not a morning person.

We found her new classroom.  Three of her closest friends from kindergarten were already there.

At her big girl desk.
 What does she think of first grade, so far?  "It's all right.  It's not as fun as kindergarten."

We have some books featuring first-graders to look at this week.

Brand-new Pencils, Brand-new Books by Diane deGroat.  HarperCollins, 2007.  Princess Posey and the First Grade Parade by Stephanie Greene, illustrated by Stephanie Sisson.  Puffin, 2011.  A Pirate's Guide to First Grade by James Preller, illustrated by Greg Ruth.  Feiwel & Friends, 2010. 

But first, we have that homework to tackle!

HR Pufnstuf

... or "Vintage Low-Brow." Or "Someone Else's Nostalgia."

Yesterday, my bloggie friend Melissa did a post about low-brow media tie-in books.  I know my daughters love their toy and TV-related bookies, too.  And I have no room to talk - I covered some of the crap from my own childhood over here.  This swirled in my head today as I watched Little Sis:

See her book?

Why yes, it's a media tie-in book for that classic show from the psychedelic '70s, H.R. Pufnstuf.

So why do we have this book?  Both Mommy and Daddy were born after 1971, when the show went off the air.  Was it a hand-me-down from an older relative?  A garage sale find?  Just something that came along with some other books?

No.  This was a legitimate eBay purchase.  A Christmas gift for my Pufnstuf-loving four-year-old.

We don't have cable, but we have Netflix.  On a lark, I put on the 1970 feature film last year.  It's so weird, I thought the girls would laugh a bit, and that would be the end of it.  But no.  Little Sis was in love. 

 My hubby was not grateful.  This does get stuck in your head:

(Oh, dear.  Between HR Pufnstuf, Betty Boop, and Pinwheel, Mommy may come perilously close to becoming this parent.)

It took a little longer for the TV show to make it to Netflix, but eventually it did.

And Little Sis drove us crazy.  The show is still on Netflix, but my dad got her the DVDs for Christmas anyway.  It came with an official bobblehead.

H.R. Pufnstuf and Freddy Flute are watching you.
I wish there was a Witchy Poo bobblehead.  I love Witchy Poo.  Okay, I admit it.  I watched it with her.
And yes, Mommy indulged her, too.  From eBay came the soundtrack to the film, on glorious vinyl:
Martha Raye!  Mama Cass!
And eBay was the source of the little Whitman Tell-A-Tale book. 
And here are a few pages!
I don't think the Jimmy in the illustrations looks much like Jack Wild.  Someday, I'll show the girls the movie version of Oliver!  This is how I prefer young Mr. Wild:

On a semi-related note, while HR Pufnstuf may not have been a part of my own sunny '70s and '80s childhood, McDonaldland was.


These commercials may not have aired when I was little, but I do remember Mayor McCheese...
Okay.  I'm done now.  Really.  

Mud Pie Kitchens and Cooler Weather

Eighty-two degrees.  Aaaaaahhhhh...

The many days of 100-plus degree weather took their toll on our yard.  My container garden shriveled to brown, and we didn't even pester the girls to clean up their toys after their morning playtime.  Little Sis was thrilled to play in her mud kitchen all afternoon.  (Thank you, Pinterest, for leading me to so many mud pie kitchens around the interwebs this summer.  My messy little imp was in mud heaven.)

Our fairy house has turned brown, of course.  We can do some awesome things to it for fall, though.


Enjoying the duct taped table.

My outdoorsy baby.

Automobiles For Mice

Automobiles for Mice was written and illustrated by Marie Hall Ets, and published by Viking Press in 1964.    We found an old library copy at a barn sale in Hesston, KS, last fall.  I thought I would share some scans.  The book is no longer in print.

There are two mouse families living in the basement of Johnny's house:  Mr. Graymouse "and his lady mouse and his baby mouse" and Mr. Tailymouse and "his lady mouse and his baby mouse."  One night, while Johnny is sleeping, the mouse families sneak up the stairs to see what they can see.  In Johnny's playroom, they find a plane and a train and what can only be described as "automobiles for mice!"

One mouse family tries the truck, while the other tries the plane.  As the truck only crashes and the plane only falls, they decide to try the car and the train.  Disaster strikes.

In the morning, Johnny wakes, finds his playroom a mess, and rushes to pick up his toys.  Mr. Graymouse runs from the wreckage.

Mr. Graymouse joins the rest of his injured party in the safe basement.  "There will never never be A U T O M O B I L E S  F O R  M I C E !"

Poor bloody mice.  (Yes, this is my daughters' favorite picture.)

(Obsessive Nostalgia Disorder Monday will be back next week, as long as I can find the time to obsess over some childhood thing over the weekend. - Thanks!)

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