I am very excited about the book Slimed!, which is being released next Tuesday (September 24). I was so excited I contacted the author in hopes of getting an advanced copy. That did not happen, but I did get to interview the author, Matthew Klickstein. You can check out the interview here.
Here’s another album I picked up over the weekend. Like many of the things I stockpile, it’s hard to definitively state what I do and don’t collect. I spend most of my time following the rather wispy guide of, “I know it when I see it.”
I distinctly remember this album from my childhood; just as strongly I can tell you, I didn’t own it. A quick Google search turned up that the “Bullfrogs and Butterflies” was a series of kid-friendly Christian albums from the late 70s/early 80s, released by AgapeLand. I am positive I didn’t personally own this record, but one of my friends must have. The closest I personally ever came to rocking with a bullfrog was with Jeremiah. He was a good friend of mine.
Again, I find myself just as attracted to the artwork as I am the kid-friendly tunes.
I always love a good washboard player. At least there ain’t no hole in the washtub.
My contribution to Monkey Monday: Caps For Sale, “a tale of a peddler, some monkeys, and their monkey business”.
Caps For Sale The story was originally written in 1938, but it was still in circulation in the late 70s, at which time a preschool me found it and read it dozens of times. I liked the story, mostly because of the mischievous monkeys. But I also had problems with it. I have security issues (as you regular readers might know), and I wondered first how the peddler made a living selling caps in an area that looked sparsely populated, and I really worried about him after the caps had been stolen by the monkeys. Had I encountered it a few years later, I also would have wondered why the peddler looked so much like Donkey Kong‘s Mario.
If you’re not familiar with Caps For Sale, check out the video below, which gives the whole story.
We talked about Choose Your Own Adventure books several times on Retroist.com (here, here, here, and here). But I have to talk about them again just a little because I finally purchased one. I was happy to find that Choose Your Own Adventure books are on the Kindle (along with Fighting Fantasy books), but I haven’t yet purchased one because they didn’t have any of the ones I remembered. Most notably, they didn’t have The Cave of Time.
If you’ve read this, you know that I didn’t get to read The Cave of Time when I was in grade school because a schoolmate lost the school’s copy. After waiting too long to see if it would come on the Kindle, I finally purchased a hard copy. And once I got this hard copy, I realized one of the many things that kept me coming back to the Choose Your Own Adventure books. It was the covers! Look at the cover for The Cave of Time. A creepy knight-like guy. A samurai. A T-Rex under a moon. Me on a horse heading for a castle. And the Loch Ness Monster. Not only were all those things cool, but the suggestion was I’d get to meet them all! And that’s what I wanted to do, and when I didn’t meet them all on my first adventure, I went back and made new choices in an attempt to do so. It was that promise of meeting all these cool people and monsters that kept me going through these books time and time again.
There were also pictures inside the books. Some of them matched up to the cover, like this one:
And that, my friends, is the secret of the Choose Your Own Adventure books.
Our national fixation on childhood took a smoke break in the 1970s. There’s no better evidence of this than in the vacation literature of the time. For example, this brochure from the Alton, IL, Holiday Inn advertised the latest and greatest in family leisure spaces circa 1977:Exciting! The plush chairs in the middle section are a perfect place for Mom and Dad to swirl their Tom Collins and yell at the kids who were running to the pool.
Pools, by the way, were for sitting in or aside and for giving the whole motel that unshakable smell of chlorine and wet carpet. Yet, who could blame the kids for wanting to run around? They’d just driven from Schaumburg to Elyria-Lorain.
All this fun has made the kiddos hungry. There are exactly two items on the kids menu: fried chicken and a hot dog.You were promised a movie – in your room! – but Dad found out that they cost $1.95 each and he won’t pay it. Besides, it’s 7:30! Time for bed! Mom and Dad are just a few floors away, enjoying some kind of rendition of “Baker Street” without a saxophone.