The six year-old likes to make books for me. And, recently, he slipped two of them into the bag in which I shuttle documents to and from work, idea being that I will actually look at said documents while I am at home.
That almost never happens. Thus, it took me awhile to find my "Parker books." What a fun surprise when I did find them, though.
Each book consisted of a piece of white paper, folded in half, with black ballpoint drawings on all four surfaces. Text is reproduced below, along with my footnotes.
Book #1 . . .
Front cover: THE PYRITS [PIRATES] WHO ATTACKT TEXAS. [Illustration of ship with skull and crossbones.]
Page 1: One sunny day pyrits attackt our land. FN1 [Illustration of pirate ship run aground on a beach with a palm tree. FN2]
FN1: Like his brother at this age, Parker has a hard time assigning cities, states and countries to their appropriate locations on the "hierarchy of places.' He is utterly convinced that Texas is a country. We have done little to disabuse him of this notion.
FN2: My first thought: pretty awful pirate stereotyping, kid. My second thought: the kid has never seen the Houston Ship Channel, but he has seen the beaches of Galveston. If you approached "our land" via Galveston, you would see palm trees. And, based on his limited experience, that's how you dock a boat - just cruise on up and drop anchor.
Page 2: Then they attackt us. [Illustration of tall skyscrapers and people milling about screaming.]
Page 3: But they only were trying to see which ones of us had munny [money]. FN3 [Illustration of pirate ship, with pirates on board, sailing away from "our land." FN4]
FN3: So it's political satire? Something about a government shakedown? Pirates as a metaphor for the Legislature that extended the business gross receipts tax to limited partnerships?
FN4: It's hard to tell, but I think that in the last picture the skull and crossbones have been replaced by a peace sign. That, or he got tired of drawing a skull and crossbones on every page and just kind of phoned it in.
Book #2 . . . .
Front cover: DINUSORS THAT LIVD BEFORE TIME. [Illustration of iguanadon - complete with exaggerated thumb spikes FN1 - that has taken a bite out of the side of a tree. FN2]
FN1: We are obsessed about dinosaurs, and the details of dinosaurs. Clearly. Given the thumb spikes.
FN2: It is believed that iguanadons dined primarily on conifers and gingkos. Discuss.
Page 1: Dinusors livd before time. FN3, 4 [Illustration of T-rex. FN5]
FN3: Ah . . . the grand childhood tradition of, essentially, repeating the title in the first sentence of an essay. So as to maximize word count with minimal effort.
FN4: Not even going to attempt to wrap my mind around the "before time" concept - which I blame on those awful "Land Before Time" direct-to-VCR dinosaur movies that we inherited from the neighbors.
FN5: Parker is convinced that the T-rex is an animal separate and apart from the tyrannosaurus rex. They are, according to him, "similar, but also different." I have long since given up on trying to convince him otherwise.
Page 2: Sum dinusors fytid [fighted]. [Illustration of a T-rex FN6, 7 terrorizing a triceratops. FN8]
FN6: I think it is a T-rex, but it possibly could be a tyrannosaurus rex. I have heard that they are similar - but also different.
FN7: It looks, sort of, pregnant. Or morbidly obese. With the bad kind of fat - apple, not pear.
FN8: The terrorized dinosaur might be a pentaceratops. Or a mountain goat. Hey - it's a side view. It has, at a minimum, one horn, and some sort of ruff - could be leathery skin, or wool, or "other."
Page 3: Then when they died we found bones. [Illustration of a slightly less paunchy T-rex with bones cross-hatched over his surface area. FN9]
FN9: Hey, Obese T/Tyrannosaurus Rex is slimming down! Oh, wait - he's decomposing.
I imagine that the sequel to "DINUSORS THAT LIVD BEFORE TIME" will feature megalodons. For those who aren't lucky enough to have pint-sized dinosaur educators residing in their homes, megalodon was a prehistoric shark that was three times the length of a great white - thus combining the ginormity and overall coolness of a dinosaur with the general awesomeness of a common, everyday shark. It doesn't get much better than megalodon if you are a six year-old boy. My six year-old boy carries around a book about megalodons. It is called "Megatooth." He probably can recite it from memory by now. Like its subject matter, it is ginormous, and cool, and generally awesome.
My six year-old is not ginormous. Not yet, anyway. But, like megalodon - and T-rex, and tyrannosaurus rex - he is cool, and generally awesome.
And he is getting his stitches - I mean, "string bandages" - out today. Wish us luck . . . .