May 9, 2012

PapaSee: The Secret Garden

With Monsta 2.0 taking up all our time, my trips to the theatre have been greatly curtailed. That's my nice way of saying WIFE has shut it down.  So now, if I go, MONSTA goes, which has forced me to see a lot of kid stuff.  Last weekend, this took us to The Secret Garden in our neighborhood.  It's a beautiful production, and if you live in New York, it's worth the trip into Queens to see it.  But in the words of the great Lavarr Burton, "But don't take my word for it..."

May 8, 2012

Maurice Sendak, 1928 - 2012

Since this is a blog mostly about kids, it's worth noting that the great Maurice Sendak passed away at 83.  Reading daily to your children, it doesn't take long before you realize how many horrible kids books are out there.  I don't think this is because writing a book for children is all that difficult, though it can be.  The problem is, I think, that most adults think kids are dumb, and that they can't handle anything of substance.

Sendak clearly felt otherwise.  His work was weird, and strange, and never preachy.  In Wild Things, Max is nasty to his mom.  Most authors would follow this with a boring lesson about respect or some other crap.  Not Sendak.  In his world, Max is rewarded with an amazing trip, where he's given his own boat, and crowned "King of All the Wild Things."  But it comes with a price, and before long, he realizes that the only thing that truly matters is being to the one who loves him most.

I love reading his books to my kids.  It isn't a chore, or something I do because the public service announcement tells me it will make us all a better family.  I do it because Maurice Sendak wrote good books.  A life of good art, and of stoking the fire of a kid's imagination.  I'd say that's time well spent.