Speak and spell

I absolutely love Meg and Mog. Something about those books, their quintessential 70s vibe, the colours (you just know Meg had an avocado bathroom) is imprinted in my DNA. I still remember reading Meg and Mog at my infant and nursery school and and it certainly explains my love-affair with late sixties style and decor – my house has the most dayglo-trippy sixties tiles you ever did see – Meg would love them. And an avocado bathroom.

Just as we aim to instil our values in our kids, so it is with our aesthetics: it can’t be an accident that my daughter was bopping away to These Boots Are Made for Walking when it was piped over the speakers in our restaurant over dinner, a song I remember dancing to with my own mum when I was around the Monkey-Face’s age and I am not aware of ever playing it to her previously. And it can’t be coincidence that she’s drawn to the same childhood favourites when it comes to reading and film either.
There must be something genetic about the late 60s/ early 70s that leeched across the placenta into my daughters’ bloodstream. Meg on the Moon is certainly not going to put her off, that’s for sure. She loves sounding the words phonetically and spotting where they are on the page. It’s a great book that – unlike many of her other books – seems to transcend kids’ ages which makes it inherently useful. It’s great for babies, because it’s bright but they can’t wreck the pages, fabulous for toddlers, because it’s a board book and they can manage the pages themselves, useful for pre-schoolers because it’s interesting enough, with its cartoon-style graphic design influences, to keep them engaged and encourages them to read aloud for themselves. And the enduringly retro appeal stops parents (well, me, anyway) from wanting to throw it from the window after multiple reads.

The book is as addictive and lairy as a Krispee Kreme donut and the Monkey just loves spelling out the words and tripping on Meg’s frankly laissez-faire attitude to spells and footwear. Meg’s definitely paddling her own canoe when it comes to rules and The Man. It explains a lot. I should probably dash up the stairs and snatch the book from my child’s hands. Well, I should do that anyway, especially as MrBookandBed reports that the child we all thought was asleep, sated by Mog’s octane birthday trip to the moon, is not. No. Two hours after her bedtime, she’s apparently lying in bed, in the half-light, reading books to herself. Meg has done me no favours at all here, because I’m no good with rules and I’m definitely not quite sure what the rules are about a 4 year old lying in bed reading Meg and Mog or David Walliams ‘ The Slightly Annoying Elephant (an equally off-beat story with a Paddington Bear/ Gerald Scarfe vibe about it) when she should be asleep… More on that pesky Elephant another day though…

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