Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bad Children’s Literature: Yap and Hap

I’m at the library right now, and I should be using this babysitting time to work and not write blog posts. But I’m going to return books before I go home, and I couldn’t do that without telling you about one of them first. Oh, sure, I’ve written about bad children’s library books in the past. But this one is my favorite so far.

First, let me say that Jack picked this out himself. He tends to choose books based on the tried-and-true technique of whichever book he happens to lay eyes on. And this is how he ended up choosing the timeless children’s classic, Yap and Hap Go to Wee Care Catering School.

We read it that night. It’s about two twin dogs, Yap and Hap, whose Aunt Bark runs a catering service, and who wants some cheap labor and therefore volunteers to send Yap and Hap to catering school. Jack claimed to have liked it. Perhaps he did not listen, but only looked at the pictures, which, I have to admit, are lovely. But for me, the pictures did not distract enough from the text, which includes passages like:

Yap is always eager to learn new things, but Hap isn’t so sure about Aunt Bark’s idea. She would buy their chef coats and hats, as well as pay all school costs including fees, books and bus ride expenses.


and:

Mr. Chow greets his two new students as they enter the classroom. He gives them an outline of their schoolwork. He explains the paper and lab work. Mr. Chow expects class participation.


and:

For several days Yap and Hap stayed after school to clean classrooms and food labs. The twins learned never to do damage to property again and agreed not to play pranks.


You will be relieved, no doubt, to learn that Yap and Hap graduated from catering school with honors! I can only assume they then went to work for Aunt Bark at sub-minimum wage, probably to pay back all of the fees, books, and bus ride expenses she covered.

After we finished the book, I found the “About the Author” page, which goes a long way towards explaining things:

Pat Nekola ran a catering service for 18 years. She is a twin and loves dogs. Pat created the Yap and Hap books to entertain and teach children ages 5 to 7 about catering, proper values, ad being responsible for any wrong actions.


Here is her train of thought, as I imagine it. “Hey! You know what children aged 5 to 7 want to learn about? Catering! And as a caterer, I am the perfectly suited to write a series of children’s books. And they should be about dogs. Because I like dogs. And, ooo! I’m a twin! So they’ll be twin dogs!”

But seriously, what kid aged 5-7 doesn’t want to learn about catering, am I right?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lordy but it's hard to blog these days

Especially going on day five or six or ONE THOUSAND of a nasty sinus infection that has rendered me dizzy and blocked up and it feels like knives in my ears when Nora shrieks. Which she tends to do.

But Monday, before I knew it was a sinus infection, we went hiking. It was the perfect solution to my desperate attempts to think of something fun to do with the children in the beautiful weather. I would have liked to visit family members, but they all have wee children (newborns, even! I have another nephew!) or are otherwise immunocompromised, so I can't bring over my germs. But the hike worked out beautifully. Especially since we went to the state park that has a farm that sells homemade ice cream.

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Not to change the subject too abruptly or anything, but last week Jack tried candy corn. Now, candy corn is gross. I realize this. I also love it, so I allow myself one bag a year. I can only have one bag, because eating candy corn causes me to enter an infinite loop wherein the candy corn leaves a weird taste in my mouth which can only be removed by eating more candy corn, and oops! I ate the whole bag. Traditionally, I get all of it because Andrew hates candy corn, but I was fine with sharing my bag with Jack this year. So I had no complaints when Andrew bought a small bag for Jack after his flu shot.

Jack could barely wait until after lunch to eat it, but when he finally got a taste of it, he said, "I think there's something wrong with this candy corn." I tried a piece.

"Sorry, Jack," I said. "That's what candy corn tastes like."

I think he was just stunned that there could possibly be a CANDY that tastes BAD. Stunned and betrayed.

But hey, good news for me! I got all the candy corn again. Oops.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A bunch of quick takes

1. I never noticed before, but waffle-squares are reminiscent of the holy water font at our church. I know this now because we had Belgian waffles this morning, and Nora repeatedly dipped her fingers into a waffle-square and blessed herself with maple syrup.

2. Here is photographic evidence of Nora’s and Jack’s superhero escapades that I mentioned in the last post:

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3. Speaking of photographic evidence, do any of you watch 30 Rock? Remember the one where Pete got his sleeve caught in the candy machine, so he took his shirt off but somehow, his arm was still stuck in the candy machine?

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That is the diaper she had been wearing when I left the room. Please note that her outfit is one-piece and snaps closed on the bottom. The snaps are not undone.

4. So long as we’re looking at cute pictures of my kids, we went to a wedding last month.

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5. Guess what I was cutting with this happened to my Cutco knife?

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MARSHMALLOWS.