I’ve written about Gyo Fujikawa here before, but by gum, I’m doing it again. We have “Oh What a Busy Day” out from the library right now, and Harper and I have been poring over the amazing illustrations. This book just makes me happy. I remember almost every single image from reading it as a child. I remember which images delighted me, confused me, fascinated me. I loved the page of kids pretending to be a peacock, a dinosaur, a sandwich. I loved the feeling I got from the illustration of a girl in cozy little wooded hiding place. The world of this book is a wonderful one — no grownups anywhere, just kids playing, playing, playing. The words in this book, I’ll be honest, are completely besides the point, and not all that exciting. The text is just an excuse for the pictures, the literary equivalent of a toddler’s chicken finger aka ketchup-delivery-device. But the ketchup! I mean, the pictures!
To tell you the truth, this book is not really Harper’s favorite right now. Her real favorite is a chirpy Yo Gabba Gabba product that I find interminable and keep trying to hide. Ugh! I know they can’t help it, but sometimes I hate that the library has so very many corny tv show spinoff books. I mean, we go there to be booky, and we’re bombarded by screaming computer games and printed advertisements for television. I guess the upside is that Harper doesn’t yet know to beg for the animated equivalents of these usually terrible books. After all, the Charlie and Lola series — still a beloved favorite around here — is just such a product, not that she knows this; for now, it’s a world that’s still hers to imagine. And the Yo Gabba Gabba book she’s so into is, in the end, about using your imagination, and she LOVES it, so what’s the big deal?
All I know is, I’d rather spend time playing pretend with Gyo Fujikawa’s sweet-faced kids than the Gabba monsters. Wait, does that make me a racist? A monsterist? Or just a sort of picture book Andy Rooney?
Ehhhh books today! If anyone needs me, I’ll be daydreaming in my burrow.