Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

10/20/10

Tears of Laughter


I read a lot growing up, but mostly on my own. I do, however, remember reading Fox in Socks together with my father. He had been working out in the garage that evening, but when he came inside, we began taking turns reading the silly nonsense tongue twisters. "When Tweedle Beetles fight, it's a tweedle beetle battle..." As we stumbled through the rhymes, we laughed harder and harder until we both had tears running down our faces. It is a great book, no doubt about it, but part of what makes it so great in my memory is that I shared it with my father. That's the priceless magic of reading picture books together; it creates a bond between the reader and listener.

Fast forward thirty-five years and you'd see me sharing another picture book, this time with my friend Gary. Mo Willems' Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! is so ridiculous, and so hilariously accurate with regards to children's (and yes, adults') emotions. Gary bought the book for me as a birthday gift that year, and we still crack each other up by quoting favorite lines. True story. Who says you ever get too old to share a picture book?

7 comments:

Christy said...

So glad for the reminder of wonderful Dr. Seuss. Yes, they are great read-alouds with their rhythmic word play and goofy pictures. We had The Cat in the Hat at our house. I loved Thing 1 and Thing 2 and all that pink! What a great memory of laughing with your father so hard that you cried. I have a similar memory with my father, only it was later, watching the movie "Airplane".

Edie Hemingway said...

Books that bring tears of laughter are the best, David!

Diane Adams said...

I love that picture books still make you laugh as an adult. I remember the editor Allyn Johnston reading a picture book at the SCBWI conference in L.A. one year and having to stop for a minute to gather herself because she was laughing so hard. Her laughter was contagious and the whole audience laughed right along with her. It was a great experience!

Lauren said...

What a great memory David-- that contagious laughter with a parent-- I too, have a memory of crying laughter with my Dad, but it was much later too-- another story.
And what a great friend Gary is-- Great taste!

Maggie Falls said...

I hereby officially announce my new campaign platform ... to broaden the name "picture books" to something that helps older children and adults understand that these books are for everyone. No more derogatory remarks about "baby books." The librarians in our Chapter & Verse book club say they have a section in their libraries called "Everybody Books." I like that, but I think we need something more precise as a title. What do you suggest?

betsy woods said...

Sometimes I wonder about Dr. Seuss: what would it be like to have chicken soup or a peanut butter sandwich with him? To go fishing: one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish . . . oh, so smiling David: thank you.

Wild About Words said...

I LOVE the pigeon books. Diary of a Worm is a favorite, too. Oh, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. And did I mention . . . oh, too many to list.