Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What Miriam is reading

I'm always blabbing on and on about what I'm reading. Here are some books that Miriam is really into lately.

The Sound of Colors, by Jimmy Liao. I don't know who decided this would be a good idea for a children's book, but it works. The prose is waaaaay over Miriam's head, but the pictures are fascinating in a fever-dream kind of way, and she likes the contradiction inherent in the title. Her other favorite lines talk about smelling the shapes and tasting the light and dark. I guess it's about a blind girl, and the author is a cancer survivor, but if you don't want to get into all that, it's just a fun book.

Another fun book is this collection of nursery rhymes we brought home from the library last week. I'd forgotten how ridiculous they can be. I know there are different versions of these old poems (did you learn that the old woman in the shoe kissed her children softly, or spanked them soundly?), but this one caught me off guard:

The version I grew up with was something like:

Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker,
And all of them gone to sea."

I would have also accepted "Turn them out, knaves all three" for the last line. But I had never heard of this rotten potato nonsense.

Miriam also chose a book from the library about what happens to children when they die (!). I guess the cover was appealing to her. We read it at the library before checking it out. Before too many pages had passed, however, it started talking about how we are shapeless spirit fluff after we die, without gender or families, and you had better believe we didn't bring that one home.

What are your kids reading? And what is the correct version of Rub-a-dub-dub? If there can be a "correct" version of a nursery rhyme about three men in a tub, that is.


Amanda said...

In one of my psych classes, we had to read this book about people with sense disorders, and there are people who smell or taste color, or hear shapes. And then one time, a girl was on Jeopardy! who had a sense disorder. And, I don't think I ever learned a complete version of Rub-A-Dub Dub. I thought it ended with "three men in a tub," so I'm not helpful for that survey.

Aimee said...

I definitely learned the "spank them all soundly and sent them to bed" version of the Old woman and the shoe. After all she had so many children she didn't know what to do. As for 3 men in a tub I thought it ended with the butcher the baker the candlestick maker, and I have never even heard the last few lines that I recall.

Anonymous said...

In reference to the first book, Sound of Colors, you might be interested in looking up the mental phenomenon of synaesthesia/synesthesia - which is the condition to which Amanda refers. I have it pretty strongly, and the title of the book and your description quickly jumped out at me as totally logical and not contradictory in the slightest. Learning more about synaesthesia might make the book seem more sensical! :) Have fun.

- faithful reader


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