Any parents out there? I bet you know the children’s book, Goodnight Moon. I read it a few million times myself, with each kid as they came up through those preschool years, and I can still remember each page and how the little ones had to repeat each goodnight. Lance Mannion finds the strangest summary of the book, though—it’s a dark nihilist tract that portrays the inevitability of death.
Whoa. Heavy, man.
The other obsessive touchstone of my children’s early years was Pat the Bunny, where each page had a different texture glued on — a piece of sandpaper, a feather, some soft fluff — and the kids were supposed to touch it as we read it. I anxiously await the review that reveals this was actually naturalistic/materialist propaganda designed to inculcate the all-ness of the physical world into impressionable young minds.
I don’t remember much about my early reading habits, although I think Mike Mulligan’s Steam Shovel was in there, along with lots of Dr Seuss (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish…oh no, he did warp my brain!) I know that once I got away from picture books, some of the earliest reading my father passed on to me were the Mars books by Burroughs, which perhaps explains my current fascination with many-limbed creatures and naked hotties who lay eggs.
Retroactive reinterpretation of kids’ books is fun!