Monday, March 21, 2011


I've always read the author's and illustrator's names when reading a book out loud to the children, from when they were babies. That's caused a couple of funny stories over the years, such as when Katie requested the "Bond book". It took me quite awhile to figure out she was looking for "Big-Red-Barn-By-Margaret-Wise-Brown-Pictures-By-Felicia-Bond." And it's been cool when, many times, a child has recognized an author or an illustrator by name. When I started reading The Wheel on the School a couple of weeks ago, Lukas immediately said, "Maurice Sendak? Wait a minute!" and ran to find Where the Wild Things Are. It was interesting to him that Maurice Sendak has written AND illustrated books, as well as "just" illustrating someone else's book.

So this evening I read a "Tom and Pippo" book to Helen. I started off, "Pippo Gets Lost, written and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury." Helen interrupted to say, "MY Zenbury?!" We had a much longer discussion about her name being on the cover of the book than it took to read the book! We have four Tom and Pippo books, all of which I have read many, many more times than I care to attempt to calculate, and I've read the author's name each and every time. Strange that my Helen hadn't noticed or commented before! Of course, I myself had never noticed just how many books we have written by Helen Somebody-or-Other, or with characters named Helen, until after our Helen was born and named.

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