Nanny in NYC

A modern day Mary Poppins

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Since we're talking about great books . . .

My post about Kid Lit got me thinking about other wonderful picture books I've known over the years and my mind immediately went to Would You Rather by John Burningham. A year or two ago I sent my father on a quest into the attic storage of my family's home (not a simple task) to find my childhood copy of this classic when I discovered that it was out of print and copies were incredibly hard to come by.

So, you can imagine how happy I was to see that it has recently been republished in paperback. I cannot stress enough how wonderful and thought provoking this book is.

The book asks the reader to choose between two or three options--but be warned: these options are not for the faint of heart. One sections asks: would you rather be chased by wolves, a lion, bulls, or a crab. I was adamant that I would be chased by anything but the dreaded crab. No matter how many times my parents explained how easily I could outrun the crab as compared to a pack of wolves my decision never wavered. To this day I still am creeped out by any kind of shellfish that isn't being served with butter, but I digress . . .

I am curious about the reception this new paperback version is getting because the tone of the book will not please the type of parent who worries that writers such as Roald Dahl are too bizarre and frightening for young children. It is my experience, however, that kids ponder the macabre frequently. This book allows that kind of thinking to become a group activity.


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