Wednesday, August 8


Today is Zack's birthday, and in deference to his likes and dislikes I won't post the picture of an amazing spider I saw in the front yard the other day. That can wait. Today will be for Zack-frendy pictures only.

Sorry about the flash, but it's too hot to go out into the sunshine, even at 6 p.m., EDT.

Another quote from this great book, The Rotten Book, by Mary Rodgers (of Freaky Friday fame), with illustrations by Stephen Kellogg:

[the policeman says] "I'm afraid, madam, that your little boy is under arrest."

"That's fine by me," his mother would say.

"Whoopee!" his sister would say.

"Fair enough," his father would say.

"Jail's too good for a rotten kid like that," the fireman would say, and they'd all stand around in the doorway and watch the policeman drive off in the squad car with the boy sitting beside him in handcuffs.

This book was one of Zack's favorites, and every time I read it I understand why he loved it and why lots of us love it. Some of his other favorites back then were, as I remember, The Marvelous Mud-Washing Machine, In the Midnight Kitchen, Richard Scarry (of course), When the Sky is Like Lace, Benjamin's 365 Birthdays, and Bread and Jam for Frances. I still have all of these except the wonderful Benjamin, though the Mary Rodgers is a newer paperback, because we never owned it back in the '70s but would check it out of the D.C. public library (Blue Cat Branch) every other time we went.

I don't remember when Margaret Wise Brown's Sailor Dog (Garth Williams, ill.) came into our lives, but it's also a favorite of Zack's and mine, and the grandchildren, and eventually we discovered Mister Dog (Brown, Williams) and then later Hobo Dog (Thacher Hurd) and Art Dog (Thacher Hurd). In case the line of inheritance isn't clear to my readers, Thatcher Hurd is the son of Edith Thacher Hurd and Clement Hurd, who (Clement) illustrated Margaret Wise Brown's Good Night, Moon and Runaway Bunny. And, not to leave Edith out of the mix, she is the author of Catfish and the Kidnapped Cat, illustrated by her husband Clement and published in 1974. By the date, it could have been one of our favorites back then, but I didn't discover it until fairly recently. Isn't it great how there keep being new things to discover?

So a very happy birthday, Zack, and aren't you glad you're not at Pinewoods for it?

P.S. "Frendy" is not a typo but a literary reference, as in "dog-frendy."

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