One of the very first things I did when Helena was born was sign her up for the Beginning Readers’ Program book club. As a first-time mother who had done absolutely no research about parenting, didn't consort much with other parents, and basically had no idea what she had gotten herself into, it was obvious to me that a steady supply of children's books for the preverbal infant was the utmost priority.
Needless to say, in only a few short months my ideas about parenting were turned upside-down. However, three and a half years later, those few dozen book-club books have found a comfortable place in our lives, though the spines of a couple of them have yet to be cracked.
About once a week (though only rarely on Wednesdays) for the last few months, with a certain mischievous twinkle Helena pulls out Wacky Wednesday, by Theo LeSieg (yes, the good doctor), illustrated by George Booth.
She loves pointing out all the crazy things going on in these pictures — shoes on walls, trees growing out of chimneys, people without heads (she can't yet identify the spelling mistakes in the signage). But this:
— this is the funniest thing Helena has ever seen. This is the page she keeps coming back to. This is the page that prompts hysterical, sometimes maniacal, laughter.
As we go about our daily business, this is the page that keeps coming to her mind. She'll suddenly remember, "Il y a un arbre dans la toilette." Wait, she says, she'll show me, and she rushes off to retrieve the book. Book in hand, she makes a great show of it, are you ready?, because this is the funniest thing you'll ever see. She laughs and laughs, and I laugh, and eventually we settle into exploring the relative subwackiness of the rest of the book.
Every week. She still thinks it's funny.