Everyone’s talking about …well let me rephrase that, everyone’s texting, IMing, Skyping, Facebooking and Tweeting about the new parody of Goodnight Moon entitled Goodnight iPad: A Paradoy for the Next Generation ($14.95, blue rider press, all ages). However, the author, Ann Droyd (aka David Milgram) really does not ridicule this classic children’s book, but rather pays homage to its battery-free simplicity. With Goodnight iPad, originally conceived by his agent as Goodnight iPhone, Milgram imagines a scenario where a tired (and ticked off) grandma takes all the electronic gadgets from the characters depicted and tosses them out so a family can get to sleep unaffected by the impact of modern technology. Absent from the original Goodnight book, technology has taken over this household in a big, handheld remote, shiny silver way. The author succeeds in contrasting life’s current fast, plugged-in pace with, if only for one night, a time when going to bed was relaxed and unwired. Now we cannot tear ourselves away from our electronics and it’s taking a toll on our down time and for many, probably the ability to fall asleep! I’m certain that’s why my 10-year-old son enjoyed the book so much. He knows he’s as wrapped up in technology as the next tween but could easily take a step back and laugh, just like Milgram does. Our recent 60 hour power outage drove that point home. We all emerged unscathed, and a bit more tuned in to one another instead of to our phones, laptops or Playstations. While Milgram may be a children’s author, he’s clearly branching out and his message is reaching a larger and more varied audience. So put away your gadgets guys and gals and listen to Grandma! Kick back for a bit. You just might like it.
IT’S A BOOK! (Roaring Brook Press, $12.99, ages 6 and up) written and illustrated by Lane Smith is reviewed today by the ever enthusiastic Lindy Michaels, of BookStar on Ventura Blvd.
As the monkey is getting his literary enjoyment by reading the ink printed word on, yes, actual paper, the donkey (here stated by his ‘other name’), while playing his technological invention, looks up and seems perplexed. Next, comes a barrage of questions from the donkey.
“How do you scroll down?” Do you blog with it?” “Can it text?” “Tweet?’ “Wi-Fi?” And the computer-like questions go on and on and on.
“NO! IT’S A BOOK!!” the monkey repeatedly tells him, with much frustration.
This book is simply perfect, not to mention hysterically funny, for all of you out there who would rather turn a page than hit a key. And perhaps it will bring some insight to those who don’t understand the joy gotten from one of the greatest simple pleasures that can be gotten in this life. A wonderful lesson for youngin’s, also. I’m not saying all this new technology isn’t great, but, to me, there is nothing more wonderful than curling up on a comfy couch and reading a real book! It’s something that, I certainly hope, won’t ever go out of fashion. For goodness sake, IT’S A BOOK!!
Another of Lane Smith’s books that’s a must to check out is The Big Elephant in The Room. With great humor and truths, Mr. Smith has the unique ability to hit societal situations right on the head.
The very versatile Lindy Michaels aims to inspire young minds through children’s literature. Lindy owned L.A.’s first children’s bookshop, OF BOOKS AND SUCH (1972-1987) where she did storytelling, taught drama to children, had art and poetry contests and the like. According to Lindy, “It was truly a ‘land of enchantment.” She also spent years lecturing on realism in children’s literature at colleges in the state. For close to five years Lindy has worked for Barnes and Noble (BookStar) in the children’s section and does storytelling every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. where we first met. I think she might even be more gaga over kids’ books than me, if that’s possible!