The funny thing about children's books is that they're not just for children--if I find a good picture book we'll read it over and over (I could recite The Cat in the Hat or Blueberries for Sal in my sleep thank you kindly). When my kids are small they cart their favorites around the house, unwilling to put them down because someone else might snatch them up (apparently my children are rather possessive).
So I was excited when I found a relatively undiscovered picture book. It's not on Amazon, you can't buy it at Barnes & Noble, Borders or Powells and it's called The Wiener Dog Magnet by Hayes Roberts. I found it on an online children's book site by accident.
Lillian, my five year-old, is learning to read and the title caught my eye so we sat down at the computer to read it together and as she labored through each word we started chuckling, then chuckling more until we had read it and re-read it three times. It follows a little monkey named Kiki Marie when she purchases a wiener dog magnet with her allowance.
Lessons learned? Well . . . save up your allowance and you'll have some buying potential. Do a good deed without a thought of reward. Some things that seem to be troublesome may turn out to be good after all and wiener dogs make excellent comic material.
I asked Roberts if the story had been written for a particular child--this one has "bedtime story gone crazy" written all over it and he said:
I've wanted to write children's books since I was a kid, and it wasn't until I had my own kids that I figured out how to do it. Yes, it was written for my then 4 and 2 year olds, and they helped me expand the good parts and remove the boring parts. I'm making one now about invisible alligators that have tunnels under our beds, which was completely my daughter's idea and I'm just stealing it.You can view the entire book for yourself at Children's Online Books but the only way I found to purchase it is through Lulu.com, an online publishing site where you can also purchase a second book: The Brave Monkey Pirate (click here to view the book in a PowerPoint slide show) which is just as cute as The Wiener Dog Magnet. Both books are worth it and you get to support an independent author. Kiki Marie might just be the next Curious George--only with street smarts and less mess.
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