Monday, 9 April 2012

Danger danger

Last week Bear bought Bug a new book. There's often a new book in our house: it's the house literature built. This particular one's called 'You' and is a small board book written and illustrated by Emma Dodd:

Depending on your viewpoint it's either a wonderful story about a parent's infinite love of their child, or a piece of wishy washy liberal bullshit. I'm with the former.

Bug loves the book. It's got monkeys in it and she's a friend to all things simian. After our first or second read through, Bug noticed this message on the back cover and raised an eyebrow:


The first sentence suggests the book should be shared. I'm good with that; Bug's only recently started vocalising language, so it's a bit much to expect her to read it on her own. 

Good advice. Thanks book!

On to the second sentence: We do not advise that you leave your child with it unsupervised. 

I gave the book a wee shake. 

A box of matches, Gary Glitter, and Hitler very much failed to fall out from between its covers.

I reread the book less it be full of subliminal National Front propaganda, what with Bug having a penchant for such things. 

Here's part of National Front immigration policy: The National Front would halt all non-white immigration into Britain and introduce a policy of phased repatriation.

And here's one of the more controversial statements from 'You': I love your smile, I love your frown, your whispers and your giggles.

Not exactly Mein Kampf.

Which left me wondering what could possible happen if I left Bug and the book unsupervised. I know it's mental, but I popped out of the room for 30 nervous seconds.

When I returned, Bug was on fire. That'll teach me.

Actually, when I returned Bug was turning the pages of the book with hands covered in jam. It seemed that it was the book that was in danger.

The book was in danger.

Could that be it? Could the message be aimed at keeping the book safe?

When Bug became interested in books, we put all the ones she owned within easy reach of her little hands. When we told friends, one or two asked if we were worried that she'd damage the books. Our response was something akin to 'are we worried she'll damage a book that cost us 15p from a charity shop?'

Now I'm wondering if people keep books from their children?  Does the message suggest we should? I once counted how many books Bug and I read a day. On that occasion it was 23, many of them twice and thrice. I never choose a book or decide it's story time. She decides. Is this book suggesting I put a stop to this in case jam hands get on a few pages?

I'd be interested to hear what other folks do.

I'd also be interested to know if there's other interpretations for the message. I may be missing something.

Until then:

Bye for now.



  1. Mini-M has free reign over her books. They are unpacked on repacked onto various shelves multiple times each day. Some are rarely read - others so frequently she can quote them, and we are driven demented (Mentioning no names Mr Postman Bear!). Several have been patched with sellotape after a phase of violence against elephant trunk flaps, but 21 months on, most are in pretty good nick and I'm quite proud of her!

    1. We have a copy of 'Spot Bakes a Cake' that's more tape than Spot! We love it though: it's the first book Bug would repeatedly bring back to read.

      We're very proud of her too. She gets enjoyment from words and pictures. This makes me very happy.

      She also loves a bit of CBeebies. Show Me Show Me is the current favourite. Everything in moderation, especially when I have to cook dinner...

  2. PS "You" is lovely. The penguin one is fab too - think it might be called Me... almost made me cry!