27 December 2012

Puppies are Like That

I have specific memories of two books from my very early childhood. These were the pre-any-semblance-of-literacy days wherein my mom would read books to me. One was called Puppies are Like That and it was about all the inadvertent transgressions of proper conduct that puppies could unknowingly engage in. The other was about an unaccompanied minor taking a plane trip to visit extended family.

This doesn't make sense.

I feel like young children's books typically have some instructive purpose. But it's not instructive in the the sense of teaching how to do something, but what's a normal life situation and how to apprehend and accept the world around us. Like if your puppy decides he's going chew up your toys it's not ideal behavior and measures should be taken to prevent it, but it's not out of malice, it's because puppies are like that. They foster the acceptance of change and new situations because as a young kid, everything is new.

As someone who did not have a dog until high school (and not even a puppy!), never flew alone until grad school, and had all my immediate extended family clustered within diving distance, I find the selection and memory of these books to be awfully odd in retrospect. Where did they come from? Were they any more than a hedge against a abrupt and unpredictable life changes?

Buy the Mysteries of Matt Laquidara's Childhood!
Puppies are Like That (caution: cover art is really cute)


  1. People enjoy puppies and plane rides are adventures, so the books would be interesting to kids. Not every kids' book has to be directly applicable as a lesson to the kid's life. Also maybe your mom found them on sale or something. Could always ask her.

  2. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING: the book about puppies was from my grandfather and she has no recollection of the unaccompanied minor book.

    Puppies: still really cute.