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Karma is a Book of Opposites

Background

Being the daughter of avid readers, the bear was exposed to books at an early age.

Now at 16 months, she has destroyed read more books than we can count. We have gone through 2 copies of Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’ Blueberry Girl. Her copy of The Dangerous Alphabet (also by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Gris Grimly) is barely alive, kept together by miles and miles of clear tape. The pages of her favorite Mickey Mouse clubhouse book, Look Before You Leap, have been taken out of its spine. We are raising a voracious reader and we have half-eaten corners of books to prove it.

One of the books we got her was Jane Yolen and Mark Teague’s How Do Dinosaurs Go Up and Down?. The husband grew up on dinosaur books and couldn’t help but try to pass on the love for them pre-historic creatures.

The culprit

We were all fooled. 

In theory, the book is pretty darn cool. The illustrations are wonderful, it’s lift the flap so there is some sort of interaction between the bear and the book, and it’s very sturdy and can withstand the abuses of a toddler who doesn’t know her own strength. The downside? It’s a book of opposites. I know it says so on the cover, but being first time parents, we didn’t grasp the full implications of teaching our little smart ass girl the concept of opposites.

After a few weeks of getting used to the book (at first the pictures of dinosaurs scared her), she started reading it more often. Now, she can even “read” the book with us.

It starts off innocently enough. Up and down.

From Amazon.com’s preview

But then it gets trickier. We go into slow and fast and eventually, quiet and loud.

How this Book has Ruined Affected Our Life

  • The bear has been running since she learned how to walk. So just last week, when she was tripping all over her feet, we told her to be a “slow dinosaur.” And how does she respond? She said the word “fast” and started running even faster.
  • Sometimes she also wakes up in the middle of the night and starts shouting “daaadddddy!” on the top of her lungs. As she sleeps next to her dad, of course it’s bound to wake him up. So I tell the bear to be a “quiet dinosaur” and let her daddy sleep. But what does she do? She laughs loudly, because (obviously) that is what the loud dinosaur does.

Conclusion

While How Do Dinosaurs Go Up and Down? is a good book, I would suggest that before giving it to your little one, to think long and hard whether you or your spouse have a family history of smart asses. That was our mistake. As being a smart ass is an occupational hazard (we are both lawyers), the hubby and I are finally getting a dose of our own medicine. And we have no one to blame but ourselves.

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