We Are Not Eaten By Yaks: Part 2

JEN: So you’ve had a chance to read Celia and Oliver’s story now. Don’t you just love them? I think they are so funny. I love the beginning – the author talking to the reader reminds me of Tale Dark and Grimm a bit – and reading about how absolutely bored Celia and Oliver are at their parents being explorers. I completely think it would be fun to have explorer parents, but isn’t that how it seems to be with kids and their parents? It seems like so often kids roll their eyes at what they parents are interested in.

COLBY: YES! I love how London takes pretty much the coolest parents in the world and makes their children completely bored and annoyed with them.

JEN: In the beginning we read about how lame Oliver and Celia think explorers are and also how much they miss their mother. They love watching their TV shows but they also use TV as an excuse to not think about their missing mother. I’m always sad to read about kids who have lost their mother, but I’m an optimist when it comes to read and I always think they’ll find them at some point.

COLBY: Thinking about/reading about children that are missing a parent is terribly difficult for me. I’m 31 and I cannot imagine life without my mom and dad. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be without a parent at a very young age, yet another case of how reading kidlit helps me better understand the lives and issues of my young readers.

JEN: I can remember two specific instances in the Harry Potter series where I was convinced two main characters who end up dying were going to come back. I couldn’t believe they were gone forever. I am so optimistic when it comes to stories – and real life, too.

COLBY: Harry Potter? I haven’t read those. Are they good? Maybe I’ll watch the movies. I think that’s what Oliver and Celia would recommend.

JEN: I love the Harry Potter movies but the books are still better. In my five years of being a mom, my kids mostly like the things we do as a family. I’m not excited for the day when my kids think what my husband or I want to do is lame. I hope I can keep up with what’s cool for kids but you never know!

COLBY: You wish! You will totally be lame to them before you know it. 🙂

JEN: <sigh> I know. I’m in denial, okay? I can only hope that if anything ever happened to me, my own kids would want to come after me instead of watch television. Oliver and Celia crack me up as characters. They are just so funny. I love all the dialogue in this book. It’s classic.

How about this: “‘’That settles it,’ said Celia.
‘It does?’ asked Oliver.
‘Yes, it does,’ she said. ‘We are going to run away, so that Dad can get new kids and so we won’t have to go on any more adventures.’
‘But isn’t running away an adventure?’’ p. 24

I love reading about them just wanting to watch TV. I’m not a fan of my kids – or any kids – watching TV all the time, but reading about these two absolutely cracks me up. It’s great that they are twins. Even when they agree about wanting to watch TV, they argue about what to watch. “Celia was three minutes and forty-two seconds older and one and five-eighths inches taller, which gave her a kind of authority.” p. 25. It’s just so absurd it’s funny.

My favorite show that they watch is Love At 30,000 Feet. I can’t imagine a whole show taking place on an airplane.

COLBY: I too am not a huge fan of kids watching television all the time. I think that when authors include characters that are television junkie that they, the author, are walking a very fine line. I think that next week I would like to talk about why I think London does this effectively.


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