21 June 2010

Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude - Kevin O'Malley

Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude

I will say that I don't make it a habit of reading many children's books.  Mostly...because I don't have any kids.  Alright, alright, I'll admit that I think I have kids.  But they are four-legged, furry and don't care much for my reading voice.  However, for my masters program, I'm taking a class on chidren's literature (it's called Children's Literature.  Shocking, I know) and thus I've started reading lots of kids books.  And this book is the children's book to end all children's books.  I wish this book had been around when I was a kid.  It's fantastic.

 The premise of the book is that two kids - a boy and a girl - have to tell their favorite fairy tale as a library project.  The problem is they can't decide which story they want to tell, so they decide to write one together.  The girl wants to tell the story of a princess and her ponies and the evil giant that steals her ponies and the prince who saves the day.  The boy wants to tell the story of the awesome dude who rides up on his motorcycle and has some gnarly battles with the giant and ends up rich and awesome.  The two go back and forth and everything about the book changes depending on who is telling the story - as you can see from the cover.  When the girl tells the story, everything is very fairytale-esque.  When the boy tells the story its, well, dude-tastic.

Not only did the book keep me interested, my nephew was enthralled!  Last week, I read him The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, and for the rest of the day he'd chant "You can't catch me, I'm the Stinky Cheese Man!"  But when it came to reading other parts of the book, he was too busy jumping up and down and running around hoping to be caught by someone.  

However this book...wow.  He would not put it down.  He's 4, so he can't read yet, but by the end of the day I had read the book at least five times and he had re-told the story to me as many times.  He kept flipping to the different pages and telling me what was happening, and he'd also let me know who - the boy or the girl - was doing the narrating.

I'm hoping (hoping!) that this is the kind of excitement I have in store for me as a librarian.  I'm not sure, but I think watching a kid be excited about a book might just be one of the greatest things in life. I'm still young though, I'm sure I'll find other wonderful things.  For now, watching a little boy light up about a book is, as the German say vom Feinsten.

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