Remember my assassination of Bears on Wheels a couple of weeks ago? A new assassin is stealthily stalking another children’s publication. This is extra fun because Lisa is a good friend of mine! Now it’s not really part of the ninja code to reveal the whereabouts of my fellow assassins, but in this case it’s all good… Click below to read all about Lisa’s ninja skills in tracking the elusive Waldo. Yeah, THAT Waldo.
Allow me to explain… the lovely and very funny Nicole Leigh Shaw, Tyop Aretist (formerly Ninja Mom, though she will always be a ninja in my heart) hosts a series of hired hitpeople to go out and destroy the kiddie lit that is the thorn in the butts of parents. I get to join that very prestigious group today.
Previously Meredith of From Meredith to Mommy, took a careful look at our nation’s political system using the book Duck for President.
I will be taking a bit of a different route and destroying the book Bears on Wheels by Stan and Jan Berenstein. FYI-Bears on Wheels has nothing to do with Meals on Wheels. That is something completely different. Also, if you type “bears on wheels” into Google Image Search, you will see things that you cannot ever unsee. I don’t recommend it.
I wanted to clarify that I’ve only waited this long to participate due to the fact that my Mom IS A LIBRARIAN. Therefore I can find something valuable in most children’s books. However, after I had to read this book 3,292 1/3 times while I was subbing in a preschool classroom, I can honestly say it is not one of my favorite Berenstein works. In order to be fair, it does teach counting. But I’m not so sure any child needs to learn counting like this…
So without totally spoiling it for anyone who actually might WANT to read this book, I’ll give a vague summary:
It starts out rather simple. One little bear who eerily resembles sister bear finds a unicycle standing up all by itself and rides it. One bear=one wheel. Easy enough.
(Speaking of the Berenstein Bears, is anyone else besides me disturbed by the fact that Brother and Sister Bear have no names while other bears in the books do???? No? Just me?)
Then this poor girl is viciously attacked by rogue hitchhiking bears. Three bears=one wheel. I know that whenever I see someone riding a unicycle, that is what I do too-run after them and jump on their shoulders!
WHERE ARE THEIR HELMETS ANYWAY????
We also have singing and guitar playing bears riding a tricycle with their eyes closed. Isn’t this just as bad as texting while driving? No, I do believe that is worse! Not to mention the one in back is LITTERING! Here is where we have three bears=three wheels.
Still with me? Get it? Are you keeping up on the whole bear to wheel ratio thing? Would you like me to write a formula to go with it? Evil Genius is asleep or I would ask him for one.
Let’s skip ahead a bit because it just keeps getting worse…
This book is certainly encouraging dangerous behavior. Where are all the disclaimers? Every time I see an advertisement showing anything that seems remotely dangerous it shows some fine print at the bottom of the screen stating not to do it. This book is screaming out for fine print: These stunts were performed by professional cartoon bears on a closed course. Do not attempt, unless of course you are a cartoon bear.
After every law of physics has been violated, chaos happens…
This was also the favorite part of the children in the preschool class. Much like some NASCAR fans, they read the book just for the crashes. They also loved the ninjas. Yes there are ninja bears in this book too.
One bike is still going strong though:
I seriously have nothing against this book, but preschoolers seem to think it’s the most wonderful book on the face of this earth and want it read every day ALL DAY LONG. Prior to taking down this book I read reviews on it online and people were raving about it because it teaches counting. It can also be used for fractions, and supposedly you can have kids make up their own word problems to go with it (which sounds like SO MUCH FUN!). I can think of about fifteen other books that are way more fun to read that are much better at teaching counting. I can’t see how wonderful this book is, then maybe there’s just something wrong with me. Oh yes, now I remember, there IS something wrong with me…
Oh, what happened to the bears? Don’t worry, they’re just fine. Though I wonder how many of them sue each other after that huge accident???
I hope you enjoyed my destruction of this book. Coming soon to an assassination near you is my very funny friend Lisa Newlin!
Awhile back I joined an elite group of bloggers known as the Bloppy Bloggers. I was introduced to a wide range of different bloggers, and one of them happened to be Lisa from Ranting Seriously. She, like Menopausal Mother and myself, is a nut. I like nuts. She also happens to be hilarious. Please go check out her blog-funny stuff!
Here’s a little about Lisa:
I’m a lovable disaster who always manages to spill something and make a complete ass of myself. I prefer dogs to most people, and prefer food over most everything. I’m a lawyer and a dog lover in real life, but I don’t get paid for the dog lover thing. I write a (hopefully) humorous blog about my daily musings and disasters, of which there are plenty. My blog is one that will make you feel better about your own life. It will also remind you that vodka is the answer to everything. (Except if the question is “What should I throw on this fire?” Then the answer is definitely NOT vodka.)
I don’t have kids (which is probably for the best). However, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy my monthly subscription to Highlights Magazine, or an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. (He lives in a Pineapple, people! Under the sea!) If only those things would get me into the pre-boarding spot at the airport. Apparently you actually have to have kids with you for that. Pfft!
Despite my lack of little ones, I still enjoy looking at the beloved “Where’s Waldo?” books. Why wouldn’t I? Each edition is visually stimulating, and even more maddening than the next. But with my love of tracking down the elusive Waldo comes a series of questions I haven’t been able to shake. I’m demanding answers and I’m hoping someone can provide something other than “Because Waldo is awesome.” I deserve better than that, and so do the fine kids who are looking for him.
***NOTE: If any of you would like to peruse one of these fine pieces of literature, I would recommend purchasing one for yourself. In my experience, people tend to frown upon you looking over their child’s shoulder and telling them where Waldo is located. I think it also might get you on some sort of watch list. Hypothetically, of course.***
For those of you not on the same heightened literary plane as me, “Where’s Waldo?” is a series of picture books where the reader is summoned to find Waldo in a sea of people, places and things. It’s harder than it sounds, as Waldo is a master of disguise, which is probably why his books have been so successful; his mortgage payment depends on you not being able to locate him easily.
So the first obvious question I have is “Where’s Waldo?” Although you may be able to locate him on paper, as far as I know, no one has ever met this mysterious fellow. Rather, we only see his meme. He doesn’t do book signings or publicity junkets (which truly speaks volumes as to the success of his books, as most publicists demand such things to drive sales.) So really though, where is he?
Honestly, I hope he’s in prison, because that guy is probably a pedophile and shouldn’t be featured in children’s books anyway. Something about him wanting to hide in plain sight just creeps me out and makes me wonder if he’s housing a stash of fingers in a hope chest in his basement. And if no one has ever met him, do we know if he’s a real person? Maybe he’s the Keyser Soze of children’s books, and is nothing but a myth? (NOTE: These are not only considered children’s books. They’re also books for highly sophisticated writers who write fascinating and hilarious blog posts at http://www.rantingseriously.com. I’m just saying.)
Since we don’t even know who he is, the next logical question is “Why, Waldo? Why are you hiding?” The first reason that comes to mind is that he’s on the lamb. For what? I’m not sure, but I have a feeling it has to do with loan sharking. I just have a hunch. Trust me on this.
And why is he so intent on hiding? I suspect it’s because he’s wanted by Interpol, which would make sense, as his travels span many continents. Has anyone ever considered looking at his passport? Is his name listed as “Waldo” and nothing more?
How did he get to be so good at hiding? What do we know about this Waldo guy, anyway? We allow his likeness to come into our homes and sit on our coffee tables (or on the back of the toilet), and yet we know so little about him and his profession. Is he a spy? Where did he obtain his mad hiding skills? Was it from years of playing hide and seek with his siblings? Does he have siblings? Did he assassinate them at a young age? Is that why he’s on the lamb?
Now I realize this next question may seem to be off topic, but follow it through. “Why is he always wearing the same sweater?” It seems to me that if you want to blend in and not be found, wearing the same red and white striped sweater isn’t the best way to become a wallflower (unless you’re in a candy cane-themed room. Then it’s truly the only way to become a wallflower).
Either way, I would think frequent costume changes would assist in avoiding detection. And does he have several of those same sweaters, or is he just wearing the exact same outfit everyday? I hope, for everyone’s sake, that he has several of the same sweaters and is swapping them out every few days. Otherwise, I would think he’d be easy to locate based upon pure body odor alone. I suspect all that evading authorities would cause one to perspire, and if that sweater is a polyester blend, it will hold onto a stench until the end of time.
And what about those glasses? Why not switch those up every now and again too? I know that hipster look is in style at the moment (arguably), but shouldn’t he consider rocking some different frames to avoid detection? Maybe he should get some contacts too. Does he have a condition preventing a change in eyewear? Those astigmatisms can be a real bitch.
And yet, despite all of my questions, he continues to evade all of us, and in a strange way, I say “Bravo to you, Waldo, if that is your real name.” On second thought, maybe he doesn’t skirt all of us. Maybe it’s just my prying eyes he manages to avoid. But then again, my eyes are usually filtered through a hazy film of vodka, so perhaps he isn’t as elusive as he thinks he is.