Illustrated Childhood

Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I have been negligent about this blog. There are a lot of things I'd like to say: musings about how I've yet to read a John Updike novel, but I relished his short stories in the New Yorker, photo essays about election and inauguration in the nation's capital, and the shocking realization that my editors disapprove of my drinking coffee on the metro (which is, yes, illegal).

But for right now, I'd just like to say that the illustrator of Tiki Tiki Tembo died today.

I had forgotten how much I loved this book until I saw news of his death, but now I can remember the exact intonation that my father used (and that I imitated later) when reading the name " Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo."

Further, it is amazing to me that this story, about the younger sibling saving the day and the overly-revered older child who is stupid enough to fall into a well in the first place, charmed my oldest-child heart. But it did. And Blair Lent, whose name meant nothing to me before today (but who I now know is a Boston native!), deserves to be properly remembered.

As an added bonus, the other books that Amazon suggests based on customer's purchasing history is a delightful trip back to hours of childhood story time:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
The Story about Ping
Caps for Sale

Those books, particularly the last two, were some of my favorite books, and I'm glad that people seem to still be buying them.

2 Responses to 'Illustrated Childhood'

  1. El said...'> February 4, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    I, too, loved this book. As an oldest child, I always read the book as being about how the oldest child was the most important and they decided to stop giving the oldest children long names because they didn't want them to die in wells—which was especially important considering how revered oldest children were.


  2. K said...'> February 7, 2009 at 9:21 PM

    ahahahahahahaha can't drink coffee on the metro... oh wait, I'm doing the "subway is better" thing, when I'm stuck drinking coffee in my car on the highway.


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