My friend and I were op shopping when she came up behind me and exclaimed “Look at this disgusting book I found!” I was intrigued; she is not the type of person who would generally call things ‘disgusting’, and it’s an unusual term for a book (let alone a childrens book!) We are forever sharing funny op shop finds (the type that you laugh about but don’t buy). This one, I had to buy. For $1, it was too amusing to pass up.
It all starts innocently enough, with interesting facts such as “Silver tabby cats usually have good temperaments” (not sure how this assumption rests on colour, but anyway) and lovely vintagey artwork:
And then things start hotting up:
It goes on to show the birthing process in graphic detail.
Even a picture of a tongue is made somewhat raunchy, with the “cross section” featured on this page (I was like, what on earth is that thing!?):
Whoever said that children weren’t educated about the birds and the bees in the 70s clearly had not seen this childrens book. I don’t think I’ll show it to Bub, because she is liable to describe it at daycare to the poor unwitting ladies there (and even the other children) but I have no doubt her reaction to this book would be hilarious.
I really really need to get my hands on Purnell's Lifecycle Book of You - the version about people.
This all got me thinking about my favourite books when I was a kid, those childhood gems which hold lovely memories.
(1) Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - Judith Viorst
"I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day."
(2) Clive Eats Alligators - Alison Lestor
While Frank eats muesli for breakfast and Rosie enjoys eggs and bacon, Clive prefers to eat alligators (alligator shaped cereal). Follow a delightful group of children through a day as they discover and celebrate their individual differences.
(3) The Faraway Tree series - Enid Blyton
I have lovely memories of having a chapter read to me from one of these books every night in bed.
What are your favourite books from your childhood?