Tuesday, February 06, 2007

My Maserati does one eighty-five

This is my new favorite children's book. It's called 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore, by Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter (both Brooklynites, ha, yeah, I knew it). I love the illustration style. Nancy Carpenter draws kind of like a messy Robert McCloskey, and her collage elements are surprising and good and not overdone. Plus, you have to love this kid! She is inventive and dopey at the same time, and her expressions are perfect. And she's totally wearing Christopher Robin's boots.

I had an idea to staple my brother's hair to the pillow.
I'm not allowed to use the stapler anymore.

I love the picture of the little boy wandering around with the pillow still attached to his head. It's kind of sad and really funny at the same time. That's the "poor little cute little bastard" feeling you get when you see your kid, say, eat something he doesn't like and make a face.

I think I wouldn't actually read this book to those perfect leetle angel kids of mine, and most of my mom friends (and Mr. Librarian) feel the same way. That stapler thing just sounds too fun.

But sometimes I use kids' books as, like, expensive greeting cards - you know, when the occasion doesn't require a gift, but you'd like to go better than a card. This book would be a good graduation present maybe, or a 'boy you f'ed up but aren't you glad you're not six?' present.

Which got me thinking - I'd love to do an adult version of this book. Or, er, a grownup version I mean to say... although an "adult" version ("I had an idea to masturbate in my car in the parking lot at the SuperFresh" etc.) ehhh no, let's not do that.

Por ejemplo:

I decided that Todd in HR was really kind of cute, in like a squishy, hairy way.
I'm not allowed to go to the office Christmas party anymore.

I wondered if eggnog-scented soap would taste like eggnog.
I'm not allowed to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond anymore. [thanks, ACW!]
I really really really wanted to see if my ex-boyfriend still thought about me maybe sometimes.
I'm not allowed to have my cell phone when I'm drunk anymore.
I hit Reply instead of Forward.
I'm not allowed to use email anymore.
I got real mad at my boss and told about that time that we went to Oaxaca and said it was a trade show and it wasn't.
I'm not allowed to have a blog anymore.
Of course, it would all depend on the illustrations.