Board Books for Kids Puzzling to Adults
Blame this on a late night iPad binge blog reading session, chortling late into the night reading Go Fug Yourself, but I have discovered the inner snark in myself and have applied it to a new and puzzling board book called My Foodie ABC: A Little Gourmet’s Guide by Puck.
Let me begin in a less snarky place. I applied to be a book reviewer for Duo Press books — they make nice board books and they were kind enough to send me two. My youngest is nearly 6 so we are starting to outgrow board books but he will still read them. So, we start with 123 Boston by Puck.
We live outside of Boston. He’s beyond a-single-number-on-each-page board book, but still he enjoyed it and pronounced it, “Great!” He flung the book onto the floor, but I had him retrieve it to read the last pages that details the images with the sights around Boston and we enjoyed reminiscing whether or not he had been there. (Note to self: need to take him to the Boston Public Garden. I did that a lot with his older sisters when we lived in the city but clearly he has never set foot in a swan boat. Oops!).
We started the second book, My Foodie ABC: A Little Gourmet’s Guide, which looks more promising because 1) there are more words and 2) he’s a self -professed vegetarian. The egg, fish, dairy kind that tries to avoid meat. Age age 5, this does not amuse me.
A is for alfajores. Check. We are learning Spanish, he and I, so I use my best Spanish accent to tackle that word. (j is pronounced as h)
B is for bento box. Check. He’s one quarter Japanese and we have bento boxes lying around the house that we use as containers for small toys.
C is for Chanterelles. We eat Japanese one-pot meals like Sukiyaki with a melange of mushrooms often in the winter, not usually Chanterelle but Enoki, Maitaki, Matsutaki, Bunashimeji, and Shiitaki.
We don’t make it to letter D. He says, “I hate this book.” And flings it on the floor. And wishes bad things would happen to it. And then stomps on it for good measure.
So I retrieve this book off of the floor and page through it. And then discuss it at length with my husband and Capability:Mom. Two schools of thought, both snarky:
- The audience for this book is two-fold: NYC Type A Moms and their children who are too young to speak. The ones that do test prep for four-year-0lds are the primary target (see link to Wall Street Journal The Juggle for more on that). Or, you know, that weird couple on Real Housewives of New York. The ones that lives in Brooklyn and thinks their kid is a genius… Her husband keeps crashing the Girls Night Out events… Yes, that one. She’d buy this book and read it to her infant.
- Ok, I can think of a few more people who would buy it. Friends of Alice Water’s for her grandchildren (though she may object that A is not for Alice Waters). People who don’t have children and doesn’t like even like children but are foodies themselves, like Jeffrey Steingarten. In fact, he might buy a truckload of these for gifts. I think that’s it for the target market.
- Further objections to this book: who, in their right mind, would make J for jicama? It’s a Spanish word for god’s sake that is pronouced with an “h” sound. AS in HEE-kah-mah!! Why would you confuse a child that J is for an H sounding word when they are trying to learn phonics here?!
- Toddlers, by definition, are NOT foodies. They eat nine things and that’s it: cheerios, whole milk yogurt, goldfish crackers, a small variety of fruit like bananas and apples, chicken nuggets, milk and that’s about it. As I recall, they don’t eat anything green or suspicious looking like HEE-kah-mah.
Ok, enough with the snarkiness. I have added Go Fug Yourself to my Daily Reads blog roll, but I’ll try to read in moderation. This might be the last book I get from Duo Press but I’ll keep reviewing if they continue to pump out oddities.