The Hairy Eared Hound

Children’s literature is the best. When The Son was growing up, I loved reading to him. I do a pretty passable #Eeyore. Some have even commended me on my #Piglet. That’s another story involving prunes and Bombay mix, the ultimate delicacy.

One of the joys of reading to very small children is the large print that books for small children tend to come with. They allow plenty of scope for “ooing” and “ahhing”, pointing out tigers and fitting in the odd squeeze of the listener on your lap. What’s not to like?

The Son has fond memories of reading together. He remembers sitting in our kitchen being read the first chapter of #Black Beauty. He cried. I cried. Even #Mr Ferret, (not an unaccounted for character but the builder fixing the Kitchen window) cried.  The Son has been reading to The Grand since he could stay awake long enough and he’s been thinking about how I can read to him as well.

There’s no avoiding it.  Things aren’t what they used to be.  My large print copy of #The Just So Stories doesn’t look like much of a large print version these day. I think I’ve gone from large to giant font. No one has said so, but I know it and the Son knows it. He’s been thinking about how to find a way to make it possible for me to sit The Grand on my lap, read him a book and have a squeeze.

After a not inconsiderable amount of public library research, all the indicators point to #West Norwood Library having the best selection of early years reading.

As we walked toward the train, I pushed the pram and blew raspberries, The Grand kicked and whooped, The Son said, “You’re not offended are you?”

“About the giant size font?”

“I wasn’t sure.”

“Of course I’m not offended.” I should have said that I thought it showed considerable forethought on his part. If I am going to be able to read to The Grand, we are going to have to find new ways. The old ones won’t work.

At the desk The Son said, “I hear you have a good sized selection of large print baby books.”

“I wouldn’t say that,” the Librarian said. “I can show you what we’ve got.”

On a solitary shelf sat a slender pile of large print baby books. The best stash in town totalled nine titles in all, and one of those was about a marital bust up.

The Son, The Grand and I sat on the floor and I read him a book about an unreasonably competitive dog who went head to head with his friends the ladybird, the mole and the duck. He lost, but in a moment of consolation his friends pointed out how much better he was at growing hair out of his ears than any of them were. I have quite a bit of sympathy for that dog. I’ve been in that position. The Grand lost interest and reverse crawled into a slightly bigger baby sitting behind him. We decided to cut our losses.

I’ve just done a Google search for large print baby books. The breaking news is that “F is for fart” is a small print book imposter. “The Hug” came out a close second.  “Sweet Peas and Dahlias” (a book full of twisty stories about love) is probably going to do it for me. I like the look of the dog on the front cover. He doesn’t have unusually hairy ears and may be amenable to making a friendship with a small boy. That might save The Grand from having to reverse out of my clutches in search of distractions.

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