The Blah, or The Potato with Feet

Some days, you just feel like a blah. A big, beige blah. Like a potato with feet. And some days we can’t even explain why we feel that way. And other days, the world conspires against us to create said blahdom. It just happens. So we can all relate to the little boy in Jack Kent’s The Blah. His older brother stepped on his crayons. His mom is too busy doing mom stuff. (What? That happens?) And he feels like no one listens at all. So he creates the King of the Blahs – a drawing of a big blotch with a crown who terrorizes his fellow blahs. In this simple little story (which I first read almost 30 years ago), Jack Kent perfectly captures the frustrations of being a kid. Like when I was seven and I wanted my mom to listen to this great joke I’d made up (it involved a snowflake and a burrito if I remember correctly) and she was on the phone and couldn’t listen. Or when I’d recorded a soap opera called “As the Stomach Turns” on my hand-held tape player and wanted my grandmother to have a quick listen and she happened to be talking to her neighbor Abe, who strangely wore bathrobes all day long.  And I wanted to turn right around and draw my own King of the Blahs on the wall of my room. Published in 1970, The Blah is as relevant today as it was then – for kids and adults.  It’s a great book to bring out when the blahs are at your house for no other reason that perhaps they were bored down there in Blahville. There are just some days like that. And if, on some day in the future, I slightly resemble a potato with feet, you’ll know why.

Monday: Everything is Better with a Gorilla

Little did I know how awesome life could be if I just had a gorilla. Thanks to Andrew Gall and his wicked clever book “Everything is Better with a Gorilla” I now know better. For example, did you know that washing dishes with a gorilla is better than doing it alone? Why, you ask? Because the mountain gorilla’s fur can double as a dishtowel. Amazing! Ooooo…and did you know that having a gorilla over for a sleepover is better? It is! Because you can talk late into the night with the gorilla as long as you understand that the conversation will, as Gall puts it, “inevitably veer toward plants.” Kids will love the quirky “gorillustrations” and parents will love the fact that real facts about gorillas are hidden between the lines of Gall’s witty and wonderful text. Trust me, you’ll go bananas over this book.