Maybe it’s because they were there first, or maybe because the pictures stamp the stories onto your brain like Silly Putty and the Sunday Comics, but I was washing blueberries this morning and finished the phrase, [for Sal.]
Because who else are blueberries for? I don’t even remember liking this book, with its stingy color palette and its constant appearance thanks to its cover medallion, but it’s there.
A hippo will always be a George, Frances is a badger with a wagon, and whenever gorgonzola is mentioned, I see it falling out of the sky and the lady with the stinky face from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
And always, when my socks don’t match, which they never do because they come in multi-striped packs of 70 just begging to be scattered to the four corners, I am Dorrie.
I am a good witch. My hat is always crooked and my socks never match.
It probably makes sense then, that I’m not always bringing home tiny pink ruffles, or another stuffed monkey-or-other, I’m bringing home books. Books with fire trucks (“Where does Uncle Bro work?) and tractors (“Show me where Grandma and Grandpa live.”) and no Disney-Dora-Barbies-or-Bratz.
Because you remember this stuff. Even if you can’t read the words.