If I could live anywhere, I would probably live in one of these:
If you ever feel like this—tired of cultural norms and brown and gray Restoration Hardware type living, you should try these books with your kids:
The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater
The Araboolies of Liberty Street by Sam Swope
Weslandia by Paul Fleischman
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
All of these books are about people breaking conventional norms—not in a rebellious way, but just because they like things a little different than what everyone else seems to like. When I painted our kitchen swimming pool blue and sunflower orange, I got a few remarks that our house looked like a preschool (because I had a wall in the kitchen where the kids could paint). And it probably did. But I liked it anyway.
This is the real reason I began this post in the first place:
I must confess that I thought this book was a nonfiction book when I just grabbed it out of the stacks at the library.
What Animals Really Like by Fiona Robinson is really a book about a Beaver who has created an orchestral song about what animals really like, but he gets it all wrong. In reality, we get it all wrong, because we assume that, for instance, a cow might simply like to moo, but in this book, cows like to dig. And shrimps, who we would assume like to swim, like to ski. (That part is my favorite, when the shrimps talk about their vacation to Switzerland. I also love when the Warthogs declare they just like to change their minds—because don't we all!) If you have any kids ages three to eight—you must check it out.
Next post is going to be about Lucy. A girl that, in my opinion, defies conventions. She's my own ten-year-old, and I admire that in her and wish I could be more like her.
Maybe I should stop my no-sugar diet right now, so I can stop worrying about some other pretty brutal modern conventions...