arteejee

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Children’s Book Titles I’d Like to See

In the midst of my ongoing sorting out of boxes that have been sitting untouched in the back of my closets for 10 years (or more), I found my stash of How and Why Wonder Books. For those of you born in the Reagan era (i.e., 1980 or thereafter), these were short books geared towards children ages 4-8, or so Wikipedia says. The series focused mainly on the sciences, but there were occasional titles reaching into history and social studies.

I loved the books in the series, but somehow I only managed to collect perhaps 20 of the possible 70 in the set. They covered a great amount of material written in a fascinating style, but I realized something when I re-discovered my collection. The series had a broad variety of subjects, but a 70 book series cannot possibly cover every subject about which a sophisticated child of the 1960s was entitled to know.

To remedy this situation, I make a modest proposal of How and Why titles which should have been published, but for some reason or another never made it to the coloring book end cap display at my local Woolworth’s. For example:

1. The How and Why Wonder Book of Controlled Substances – defines, describes and discusses such terms as “roach clip”, “lid”, and “junk”. Also answers such classic questions as “What makes a ‘trip’ bad?”

2. The How and Why Wonder Book of Vietnam – discusses the Tet Offensive, Vietnamization, and other concepts of the conflict in language so simple and direct that eight year olds everywhere will finally understand why grandpa is so effed up!

3. The How and Why Wonder Book of The Sexual Revolution – explores the explosion of new mores discovered and experimented with in the swinging 60s. This title would also have detailed discussions of homosexuality, transgender issues, Stonewall (the bar), and why actions that today would be considered sexual harassment were actually tolerated.

4. The How and Why Wonder Book of The Watergate Scandal – everything an eight year old ever wanted to know about the events that destroyed the Nixon Administration. Defines such concepts as stonewalling (the concept of defiance as opposed to the bar), “expletive deleted”, and of course the missing twenty minutes __ _______ _____!

5. The How and Why Wonder Book of The Counter Culture – answers questions about hippies, yippies, Black Panthers, Gray Panthers, psychedelia, “flower power” and other groovy concepts. Can you dig it?

6. The How and Why Wonder Book of the George W. Bush Presidency – as in “Why did it happen at all?” and “How can we get those eight years of our lives back?”

7. The How and Why Wonder Book of Obsolete Inventions – marks the rise and passing in the last 25 years of such common items as reel-to-reel tape recorders, video tape recorders, beepers, cathode ray tube televisions, cassette and eight track tapes, and telephone booths.

8. The How and Why Wonder Book of the Kennedy Assassination – okay, let’s face it; we will always have questions about this one. This may have to be a multi-volume set on its own just to cover all angles of every conspiracy theory floated about this event. At the very least, American children will finally know why their grandparents get so weirded out whenever someone says the words “grassy knoll”.

9. The How and Why Wonder Book of the Wonderful World of Barbie – answers every young girls (and perhaps a few boys) questions about America’s favorite possible anorexic. Details her fashions, her carefree valley-girl lifestyle, as well as her Oprah Winfrey-Steadman Graham-type relationship with Ken. It should settle one issue once and for all, namely, why didn’t every boys GI Joe doll blow away this cheatin’ bitch when he returned from ‘Nam and caught her humping plastic with Ken!

(Thank you for reading. Please remember many questions cannot be answered in a nice compact and timely fashion.)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Janey said...

May I order a set of your proposed How and Why books please? I'm especially interested in Volume 1.... :-)

March 8, 2011 at 6:32 PM  

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