You are looking at a children’s book that Bossy purchased for her daughter before her daughter could read. At the time Bossy and her husband and son were living outside of Washington D.C. in a little neighborhood that wasn’t quite the city and it wasn’t quite the country and Bossy wanted one or the other and sorry but Bossy hasn’t eaten anything but pulp in thirty-six hours.
And so Bossy bought this book for her daughter because it was all about the farm life Bossy coveted, and she was hoping the happy images would help shape her daughter’s entire childhood.
This book had messages of unity and simplicity and cooperation, and featured English cottages and old barns and farm fences.
Except shortly after Bossy bought this book, they bought the farm, where bought the farm equals mortgaging a carriage house on three acres in the middle of the Virginia Piedmont with land so beautiful you could film a car commercial.
And like the book, Bossy’s farm had animals that communed together in great heaps — for instance donkeys and chickens and a Basset Hound named Hal — but Bossy’s farm also had other things not contained in her daughter’s farm book, such as snakes and angry neighbors and approximately three million spiders the size of your fist.
Bossy’s dehydrated point is: the farm book fell out of favor with Bossy, who began to lie around her Virginia farm and dream of a day she could move back to the suburbs. And Bossy’s daughter had waning interest in the farm book too, because she had fallen in love with a different book — a book with no bucolic illustrations.
It was called My Bye-Bye Bottle Book, and it went a little something like this:
This 12-Page book of sippy-cup propaganda was originally printed in 1989 but Bossy purchased it at a yard sale. Unlike the farm book, Bossy wasn’t hoping the images contained within would shape her daughter’s childhood because. Ew.
There’s no accounting for taste. Bossy is certain her own parents surrounded her with many wonderful books intended to shape her own childhood, but the story that really captured Bossy’s imagination was found inside this Dr. Seuss anthology:
Contained within this book is a little story called What Was I Scared Of? about a pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them:
You see, there was this yellow fuzzy guy who wasn’t afraid of anything, except one night in the woods he bumped into this pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them, and that scared him to bits because the pants could stand and walk and run and looked as unwashed as Bossy’s sweatpants.
And the yellow fuzzy guy kept bumping into these pants over and over again and being afraid until he finally realized the pants were afraid too!
And the moral of the story is:
Which is what today’s Ten-Word Challenge is all about. In honor of children’s stories and how they shape who we become — even if that shape is currently a blob of digestive enzymes boring through the gastrointestinal tract — SharedBook would like to give one lucky Bossy reader a personalized children’s book of their choosing.
SharedBook customizes classic books with your child’s photo and a special message — and SharedBook’s wide selection can be searched by title, age-appropriateness, or author.
Simply leave a comment below as follows: in exactly ten words, can you tell Bossy about a book that shaped your childhood, for better or worse?
Good luck! Bossy will announce her winner tomorrow morning. Assuming someone can prop her up next to the computer.
And don’t forget to check back later today for the bookiest shapes on the webbynet.