J Fred Muggs was like the coveted book for a while in our home when I was growing up. We read it all the time, & then we'd act it out making up our own stories. Often we made our little brother be Muggs because he was the smallest & easiest to carry around, but when he tired of being the chimpanzee a stuffed animal or two would step in.
So when we had a spelling word come up this week that reminded me of this funny little picture book I went off on a long tangent sentence a little like this:
"J. Fred Muggs was a chimpanzee who was the most coveted of all books ever! He drank orange juice from a bottle & inspired the desire for a pet chip in our home for years. Mugs."
To which my children sat spellbound staring at me. For a moment I thought it was because of the ease of the word they were being asked to spell, but that's not entirely different with our spelling curriculum which always offers the most basic words before building & building upon them to come up with more complex words that are simply derived the smaller shorter syllable words. As I'm debating this my youngest bursts into a fit of laughter & says, "That's the more ridiculous thing I've ever heard!"
Coming from the child who once convinced his American grandparents that he had trained a wild dingo to befriend him by luring it in with dill pickles, & that one day while we were out the silly dingo had snuck in & eaten all our pickles.. I found his comment rather funny myself.
I jumped up & ran across the room before plucking the beloved book off the book shelf. Opening straight up to the beloved picture of J Fred Muggs drinking from his glass baby bottle full of orange juice. Rather then making my children understand just how important the picture was they just sat there staring at me for a long time before.
I mean, they've never honestly asked for a chimp as a pet. No, they've asked for lions & zebras & once got into a knock down drag out over the whole thing because the eldest cried that the lion would eat his zebra & the youngest said it didn't matter because no one needed a stupid smelly zebra anyway. To which I broke the whole thing up by stating that I wasn't buying a zebra or a lion.
As I sat there insisting how important the picture was to the whole story, all though I'm really not sure it was, & how I could drone on & on about this crazy chimp for ages my eldest simply sighed & said, "What's the next word please?"
"Seriously Mom, I do have things that need to get done."