Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Hello Everybodee!"

While walking through the grocery store on Sunday, a rack of books caught my eye. This wasn't just any rack of books, but rather a childhood memory situated next to an end-cap of store brand mouthwash: a display of Little Golden Books. I hadn't seen a rack of Little Golden Books in years, and had in fact figured them to be extinct.

And there, sitting beside "The Poky Little Puppy" was my most favorite Little Golden Book ever - "The Monster at the End of this Book", 'starring lovable, furry old Grover'. Grover's drawn form smiled at me from the front cover waving hello. I admit, I clapped and gawked in my moment of excitement. This in turn caught Steve's attention, and he picked up the book, examined the price, and added it to our basket.

Tonight I picked up my childhood and read it aloud. The cover of the book made of the same cardboard I remembered, the binding appropriately pulling up on one side, and the same cast of characters telling me that I was reading one of a series of the most loved children's books for over 60 years. The only change to the cover of this book was the addition of "Visit us online at www.goldenbooks.com" in the lower right hand corner; oddly enough, advertising a web page was not prevalent in the 1980's.

As I read the pages of the story, I was flushed with memories of sitting on the floor in our apartment as a kid. I was suddenly curled up with my 5-year old brother in bed, myself only 8 years old, reading to him and remembering to add Grover's frustration and fear with every word. I was reading to my sisters when I was 12 and they 5 and 2, doing the same thing. Even at almost 28, this is still one of my favorite books of all time. I got giddy when I "knocked over" the brick wall, making a "terrible mess", as Grover sheepishly asks me: "Do you know that you are very strong?"

It's funny how much happiness is contained in these few pages of grocery-store children's reading. For the few moments of reading, I gain a few more afterwards of nostalgic relaxation.

7 comments:

Mags said...

This IS a great book. :) Mariah has the very same book that I we all had when we were little...it's pretty cool. Even with the graffiti from my sister Chrissy (Riah's mom)

Kimberly Pye said...

Great book! My dad brought this one home for me. I remember.

I still have all my Golden Books, too. They're in a box in my parents' house.

They're probably worth something...

Steve Athanas said...

Being subjected to watching my wife during this reading was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. I may never recover.

Dan said...

Wow, you've resurrected one of my earliest memories. I was a little little kid, maybe three or four. Every time one of my parents would read this to me I would actually get really nervous and hyper (verging on afraid) about the monster at the end of the book! But I loved it!

I'll have to reread it next time I come over. Thanks for the memory :-)

Steve Athanas said...

Okay, I suppose I should clarify..

It wasn't really traumatic. It was cute. I was kidding.

I never had this book as a kid, so no fond memories from me, but it was nice to watch Danielle relive hers.

Sorry for any confusion.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Oh wow, I loved that book when I was a kid. Such a fun book to read aloud as well.

Mom said...

You!! You! You are the monster at the end of the book Grover....

I remember the times reading that with the character voices for you as a child, only to eavesdrop on you as you in turn read it to your brother and your sisters.....

I love Grover!!!