The other day, Ned and I were talking about going to the library when we were kids, and we are a scorchingly fascinating couple.
Ned was, like, a real boy, who played outside all day and participated in sports and liked dinosaurs. I was usually inside (a) reading a book, (c) putting on makeup or (14) tape-recording things. I know I've told you this already, that some poor unsuspecting grandparent or aunt or someone said, "Ooo, maybe I'll get June a tape-recorder. She might like that." Then for the rest of time I was hauling that thing everywhere, interviewing you ("How much money do you make? Are you happily married?") or creating whole soap operas in which I was every character.
Guess who was the world's most annoying child?
Anyway, we both liked going to the library, Ned and I did, although he did not become obsessed with reading till he was in college. The point is, we were talking about books we checked out over and over again when we were yutes. That is only funny if you saw My Cousin Vinny, which you should probably not admit. As I just did.
For me the book I checked out repeatedly was Sugarplum, which was the story of a wooden doll who wanted to be taken more seriously. And who ended up suspended in a jar of jelly, which by the way was my favorite part, because everything was pink then.
Who even knew there was a doll hierarchy? "Oh, a wooden doll? Let's see if we can't invite someone else to our tea party."
Anyway, for Ned it was this book about how the world was formed, and the whole thing took place on a stage with an audience, and they watched volcanoes form, and dinosaurs, and so on, till it got to the world today. Which by the way, once the Earth had people and houses, Ned was so over it. He'd just flip back to the dinosaurs.
"I got that book out 87 times," said Ned. "And I can't remember the name of it. I've tried to find it online, but..."
Who took THAT as a challenge? I went home and I wish I could TELL you the number of hours I spent here Googling, "children's earth book" and "how the earth was formed book" and "earth + stage + children's book" to no avail.
Finally it dawned on me to call my stepsister, who's a librarian in LA, and guess what. You'll never guess. She had some good ideas for finding said book, number one being that I should call it "juvenile" instead of "children's."
That's when I remembered she is friends with the juvenile librarian at work, and every time she'd have a get-together I'd make a funny funny joke like, "Is the juvenile librarian coming? Is he gonna shoot milk out his nose again?"
Guess who finds me 100% not funny? Is it my stepsister?
My point is, I went on LA's library system, found several books that MIGHT be it, then went on Amazon to enter the titles and do the "Look inside!" thing. After, you know, 860 titles, I SAW A STAGE!
Ohmygod, I was so excited. The book is called Life Story, and it was written in 1962, so sadly it was pretty new when Ned was reading it and God, we're old, and I ORDERED IT FOR SEVEN DOLLARS OHMYGOD!!!
What do you wish you could find from your childhood? Tell all.