Friday, February 11, 2011

We're torn

At the moment one of the wee man's favourites books is the ABC of Monsters. Now being one of his favourite books is a big deal. He loves books. And he has a ton of them. Everyday we're reading something new off the bookshelf (usually not before bed since the routine has somehow switched to a Thomas video before bed, but that's a whole other post). He reads all the time at daycare and he carries at least a couple of books around in his pack (yes, since our trip he likes to drag his new monkey backpack everywhere). So to love one above the others says something about its quality, or alternatively his tastes.

This is where I'm torn. The ABC of Monsters is from my childhood. It belongsed to my sister, although how she acquired it, I have no idea. Originally published in 1976, Kate must of gotten hers in the early 1980s. As we grew up it got buried in the basement amongst the other kids books. On a visit home last year I discovered it, dusted it off and brought it back for the little man.

Written by Deborah Niland, it's the very cute tail of a little girl who goes to a monster party and sees them "annoying apes", "bothering bees", "cuddling cats" . . . "and zig-zagging all the way home". The illustrations are both hilarious and engaging and it won the Children's Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award 1977. The little man has his own actions and sound effects for every letter of the alphabet, especially the predictable "kissing kings", but also the "gobbling grannies" and "ogling ogres".

This is where I'm torn. The book is great and the little man loves it. He loves it too much. It's more than 30 years old and it's not holding up very well to his love. While all the pages are currently attached, they cannot remain so for much longer. So do I save it and only share it in small doses, hopefully prolonging it's life or do I keep at this rip-roaring pace? Less pleasure for longer or more for shorter? What about any potential sibilings, shouldn't they get to share in this treasure?

I think there are a couple used copies floating around the internet, but they seem a bit pricy for which they will surely suffer the same fate.

Some part of me still thinks he's too young to learn the cruelties of this harsh world.


Alex Weatherall said...

I'm pretty sure you should try to keep it as best as you can. Given that it's out of print I would suggest that you scan it in and print out for him to use. These things are precious, but I remember books that I had as a kid, (house by mouse for example) that I'd love Phoebe to read.

candicem said...

How about scanning or taking pictures of each page, and then using shutterfly or something similar to create another book? Keep the original one intact and create a new one for him! Those books are really quite affordable.