Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Sesame Street

I have a couple of Portland related posts in is about the yummy and not-so-yummy restaurants we went to, one about books I read or bought about the beautiful world of Forest Park. But I had to stop and do this, because Issa and Mom-101 did it several days ago, and it will soon be too late to jump on the bandwagon. Stupid vacation.

So, this started on Mrs. Davis's blog, where she talked about popular culture influences you had as a child, due to the new season of Sesame Street starting on August 14th. She gave out a bunch of linky love on the 14th, but I was relaxing in Portland that day, and didn't do any REAL blogging, so I'm just behind as all get out. But I don't care. I'll play anyway. ;) I will tell you my favorites in a minute, but first I must take a moment to insert this picture of Maya at her surprise birthday party in Oregon last year, when she was turning 9.

This is Maya and my dad. My sister bought her "Where the Sidewalk Ends", which they have at Maya's school, but she didn't yet have at home. She stopped opening gifts for something close to 20 minutes, reading us poems and cracking up about her favorite ones. I was just amazed. I mean, for a 2 or 3 year old to get distracted by a gift and ignore the pile in front of them is one thing. For a 9 year old, I think it's another. So, if you don't have this book for your kids/nieces/nephews yet, get yourself to a local bookstore, and buy it quickly. :) They'll love you for it.

Another book to show her love of reading, is from when she was 2 years old. Her favorite book was Madeline's Rescue. She had it memorized, and would "read" it to herself, including French Accents for the speaking parts. Very cute. The time this picture was taken, she had fallen asleep reading. I've fallen asleep reading many a time, but I don't think the book has ever ended up on my face. :)

Now, to the meat of the post, Mrs. Davis's question:

What television, music, movie or book from your childhood are you excited about sharing with your own child?

When I was very small, I LOVED the Animal World of Thornton Burgess. I believe it is a collection of Old Mother West Wind stories, and it was given to me by my mom's friend, Kate, who signed it, "Aunt Katie". Growing up, I always thought I had a long lost aunt out there. :) She's not lost anymore, thanks to and a little bit of searching. She's even blogging, hers is "Hugging Aspens" on my blogroll. Anyway, I loved this book, loved the pictures, and I still have it in my collection. Am I excited about sharing this with Maya? When she was a bit younger, yes. At this point, I think she's outgrown a lot of these stories. But my mom bought them all for her, so she can read them anytime she wants to.

Another favorite of mine was Little Toot. I'm not sure what it was about that little tugboat, but I loved it, and if it weren't for the wisdom of my older brother, poor Samantha would have been named "Little Toot".

When I was 9, my mom thought I might like to read Farmer Boy, because of my love for horses. Thus began my love for the "Little House" books, and my interest in Laura Ingalls Wilder (I have several biographies of her...). I still use her books as a kind of barometer for life, which I'm sure is horribly annoying.

Next, my mom suggested I might like The Horse and His Boy, again, because I was one of those girls who LOVED horses. I fell in love with all of the Narnia books, and I still read them periodically. Maya has read most of them at school, and she really liked them a lot. Maybe not as much as I did, but a lot.

Last but not least, A Wrinkle In Time. Maya has already read this, and she really liked it a lot. I loved all of the Madeline L'Engle books...they showed me a world where families ate dinner together, cared for each other, fought for each other and for what was right. They were strong and sometimes conflicted. I loved that. In many ways it mirrored our own family, which a lot of pre-teen books do not. I mean, Beverly Cleary wrote about strong families, somewhat, but they were a different breed. The pre-teen books so often are 'issue' books, where the kids are basically trying to get away from their families. So it was nice to read some books where family was the haven. Then there was the science...which was so clear and poetic in L'Engle's hands. Love it.

TV Shows...well, Maya loved Sesame Street when she was little, especially Elmo. But for shows that I would love to share with her, she's kind of old for any of the shows I watched as a kid, except maybe the Muppet Show, which is ageless, or the Brady Bunch. :)

Music...I loved 2 albums growing up. I loved Free To Be, You And Me, which Maya has on CD, and now listens to sometimes. Not as often as I did, but she also has cable TV, 5 magazine subscriptions, a ton of books, and a Nintendo DS. The other album I loved was a record I would walk over to the library and listen to just about every day. It was people talking about the habits of wolves on one side, and the other side was wolf songs, and wolf pups. I couldn't get enough of that record. I don't know that Maya would be interested, though she is certainly interested in wolves. But she has DVDs and things that we didn't have back in the mid-70s. :)

So that's my list. Not very 'cool' stuff to be into, I suppose, but boy, these were the books and records that I most identify with my childhood. As Maya gets older, I look forward to sharing other books with her...but she's really old enough now for pretty much any 'kids' type book.

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