Wednesday, September 4, 2013

From a Kid's Eye View

The giggles of a five-year-old are infectious. And the things that tickle them tickle us. I can't help but share the latest, most favorite ticklers of the five-year-old in our family--which, in this case, are these two jokes:

"What did the boy octopus say to the girl octopus?"

"I want to hold your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand."


"Why is 6 afraid of 7?"

"Because 7-8-9."

Can't you just hear the giggles?

Oh, and one of her (she's our oldest granddaughter btw) favorite stories? Well, Grandpa started it all by entertaining the kids with story after story. The made-up tales always started the same: "Once upon a time Angelica Bellica Boo and Grampsy Gramps (and of course Little A, Little Nick, and later Little C) decided to..." (fill in the blank)--and off they'd go on another adventure. In each story they did something different: explore the creek, climb a tree, go to the circus, eat Grampsy Gramp's chocolate bread. And as these kinds of stories were pretty predictable, the ending was always the same: "The End."

Well, the day came when Angelica Bellica Boo decided she wanted to tell a story. This is how it went. "Grandpa," she said, "I have a story to tell. Are you ready? 'Once upon a time. The End.'"

That's it. Six words. Six simple little words. But to a five-year old, six of the funniest words you ever heard. We loved how her own little joke tickled her.

Imagine our surprise then when we learned there is actually a book out there by that title. Once Upon a Time, The End, by Geoffrey Kloske. From BookList:

"'Is there a pea under your bed?/then what's your excuse?/Go to bed.' Reading at bedtime to his kid, who refuses to fall asleep, a desperate dad shortens the old stories, twists the nursery rhymes, and adds his own messages ('Why are you still awake?') in hilarious, short, fractured fairy tales and verse."

That's the gist of the book, but in our case the five-year old couldn't get past the title when we saw the book on the library shelf. "Once upon a time, the end?? We have to take this book to Grandpa!"

And so we did.

And the fun continues.

Writing books for children? Do you get a chance to get down on their level to see what makes them tick? Or giggle, as the case may be? It's good exercise!

Any kids tickle your funny bone lately?


  1. Absolutely! All four of my grandchildren continue to delight me in so many ways. As a matter of fact, my current WIP has a stuffed animal character based on one we "made up" at the dinner table one night!

    1. Peggy--fantastic! Making up stories with your grandchildren is such a gift to them. And keep us up to date on the progress of this WIP. Hope it goes to print so the kids can hold it in their hands :-)

  2. My 6 and 9 year-old grandkids, brother and sister, get into such giggles about knock-knock jokes.

    When I was first a children's librarian (before I'd had grandkids), it was quite the learning experience to reduce, reduce, reduce, my thoughts until they were at a 2-5 year-old level. Then I got so used to it, that I sometimes wonder if I'm not talking adult enough with adults.

    When I had magicians perform for the kids, it was always the small, simple, hiding tricks that, as the magicians say, "play big" with young kids.

    1. Cathy, I always enjoy your insights into the library world :-) And it's neat how you've had lots of hands-on experiences with kids that give you insight into what makes them tick. Along with watching your grandkids grow up, of course. You have great writing material to draw from! And I wouldn't worry about not talking "adult" enough with adults. We should all keep a touch of the kid in us, don't you think?

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  4. Love the picture in this post! You are going to have to share your story about Mr. Mosey kept on jogging with Angelica. Can you imagine how excited she will be to see Grandma's story in a real magazine??? Now Adrian loves the stories with Grandpa too.
    I don't write the stories but I do love to read them. So much so that we did 'storytime' in my college classes this week in Spanish. Don't think they loved it as much as I did, but oh well!

  5. Yes, I need to get that Children's Playmate story out, don't I? Along with a poem that was published oh, so many years ago. Just remind me :-)

    And your love for stories is contagious. You've introduced so many great ones to both your kids and your student "kids." It's a wonderful thing to see!