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.


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.


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?

1 comment:

Heather R said...

Jeff and I both had a good laugh over this!